Reports emerged earlier this month that Apple had committed $6 billion to original content. The previous figure we had heard was $1 billion, so this is a serious increase from Apple.
Apple Investing in People as Well as Content
There are other things too. For instance, in April, Apple hired Danielle DePalma from Lionsgate as a senior executive on its video marketing team. DePalma had previously led marketing and social media campaigns for the Hunger Games. A month later, Disney’s Chiara Cipriani joined as Director of Video Services in London. These are not people you convince to join you without offering a serious vision.
The ‘It’s Show Time’ event that revealed Apple TV+ was a glitzy affair. A lot of glamour, not a lot of detail. Now some trailers are appearing, and it seems Apple is creating serious, high-quality programming. We’ve not even seen what Oprah “a billion pockets, y’all” Winfrey is working on yet. Planet of the Apps this is not.
While all this, as well as the reported increased investment, indicated Apple might just be starting to take its entry into the media world more seriously, let’s not get over excited. NBC’s Dylan Byers reported in his daily email newsletter on August 20 that the investment in content was significantly lower than $6 billion. Even if it is as much as $6 billion, the figure is still way behind Netflix. The streaming is expected to spend $15 billion on content this year.
As for the hires? They are impressive, but it is not too hard to imagine why media executives might be tempted to Apple. (Spoiler alert: Money.)
The truth is Apple is always going to find it hard to compete against the likes of Netflix, HBO, Disney on their home turf. If nothing else, those firms can offer a far wider range of programming from the get-go. However, developments over the last weeks and months show that Apple is at least going to give this highly competitive field its best shot.