Netflix could spend an estimated $19.03 billion on video content in 2021, data presented by investment bank Bankr suggests.
That would be an increase of 10% from the estimated $17.3 billion it spent this year. It’s also a massive ramp-up from the $2.4 billion Netflix spent in 2013 when it started moving into original productions with shows like House of Cards.
Apple, for its part, hasn’t shared exactly how much it spends on original content for its rival streaming service. When Apple TV+ was first announced, it was rumored to be working with a budget of $1 billion. That sounds a lot, but as the graph above shows it’s not even half of what Netflix spent (unadjusted for inflation) in its first year with Netflix originals. Apple then supposedly increased its budget to around $6 billion prior to the launch of the service.
Since then, it’s been a bit quiet on what Apple TV+ spends. It’s certainly hoovered up some impressive names — including beating Netflix for Martin Scorsese’s next movie, securing the Russo brothers’ first movie after Avengers: Endgame, and more. However, Netflix still makes considerably more shows than Apple. In 2019, for instance, Netflix released close to 400 original TV shows and movies. This was more than the entire US TV industry put out in 2005.
Apple, for its part, has never skimped on the budget of big shows and movies — but also puts out considerably less new content than Netflix. That has been part of Apple’s strategy with a focus on quality over quantity.
Apple TV+ vs. Netflix: A difference in subscriber numbers
According to Bankr, Netflix currently has 195.15 million subscribers. Apple has not revealed the total number of Apple TV+ subscribers. A report from the start of the year suggested that it had 33 million — although the majority of these weren’t directly paying for the service.
Since then, Apple has had a few hit shows with the likes of Ted Lasso and others. That makes it likely that the numbers have grown considerably since then. (Just anecdotally, I’ve heard friends outside of the Apple following fanbase talk about Apple TV+ much more in the past few months.) Nonetheless, it would seem likely Apple TV+ still has a way to go before it can match Netflix. Most likely on both overall budget and subscriber count.