Apple may be planning to spend a massive $1 billion on acquiring and producing original video content in 2018, but according to Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s 2018 spend will dwarf Apple’s — with plans to shell out enormous $7 billion on content in the next year.
It’s worth noting that the two numbers refer to slightly different things, however. Apple’s money will be spent on either producing its own shows or acquiring finished films, likely from film festivals, and then debuting them as Apple exclusives. Netflix’s $7 billion, meanwhile, also covers licensed content, along with original shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
It’s not clear exactly what the split is between licensed shows and original content, but the Netflix exec says the company is at least a couple of years away from it being an even 50-50 division. In his interview with trade magazine Variety, Sarandos also defends Netflix’s spending — saying that the company has, “one of the low debt levels in the industry” and is not “spending money we don’t have.”
At present, Netflix has 104 million subscribers in 190 countries. In addition to scripted shows like the aforementioned House of Cards, as well as newer ones such as The Crown and Stranger Things, Netflix is starting to venture into original movies and reality TV.
Apple vs. Netflix
Although Apple’s not officially positioned itself as a rival of Netflix, it has been upping its focus on original content as of late. Unfortunately, it’s original shows Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, both of which fall under the reality TV genre, haven’t exactly met with critical acclaim.
Nonetheless, Apple will reportedly spend $1 billion developing new scripted shows during 2018, which the company hopes will rival top TV shows such as Game of Thrones.
To help make Apple’s ambitions a reality, it recently hired a pair of former Sony execs, who previously helped bring to the screen shows including AMC’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and Netflix’s The Crown. Apple has also recruited former WGN America and Tribune Studios chief Matt Cherniss, who will work under the pair.
Are you a Netflix subscriber? What, if anything, can Apple do to compete? Leave your comments below.