Apple has plans to invest approximately US$1 billion in original programming over the next 12 months, which could potentially result in as many as 10 original shows by the end of 2017. This is in a bid to boost efforts to go up against networks such as HBO, as well as the video streaming services of Netflix and Amazon, according to multiple media reports.
A new team led by Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, former Sony Corporation TV executives, will produce and buy TV shows and films for Apple Music and future video streaming products, reported Bloomberg. Both report to Eddy Cue, Apple services chief, and will be based in Los Angeles. Former president of WGN America cable network, Matt Cherniss, was also appointed to lead development and reports to Erlicht and Van Amburg.
This follows the company's recent move to ramp up its entry into the video scene through reality shows such as "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke", which plays into Apple's ambitions to double revenue by 2020 from its services business including Apple Music and App Store. While the increased budget is sizeable for Apple in terms of services, it is dwarfed by Netflix's expenditures of US$6 billion on programming in 2017, according to media reports, with next year's budget increasing to US$7 billion.
Apple recently appointed Isabel Ge Mahe to the newly created role of vice president and managing director of Greater China. She will be based in Shanghai to lead the team based in China, and reports directly to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams. It also plans to open a new data centre in China's Guizhou province, as part of a US$1 billion investment in the area.