Apple Inc. (AAPL) is finally putting its money behind its television ambitions, jumping headfirst into the Hollywood battle for premium content.
The question for Apple, and Apple watchers, is what kind of content the computer hardware maker plans to create or acquire with the $1 billion programming budget that it's prepared to spend over the next 12 months, as The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, Aug. 16. Apple is readying production for as many as 10 shows, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares of the iPhone maker on Wednesday afternoon were up 0.4% to $162.21.
Apple's intention to spend $1 billion on content comes on the heels of its underwhelming 10-episode serial "Planet of the Apps," which aired its final show on Tuesday. The much-hyped series, which featured groups of eager app developers as they sought to win over four judges for Apple's blessings and financial support, failed to draw a wide audience.
That three of the four judges -- actress and Honest Co. founder Jessica Alba, musician Will.i.am and actress Gwyneth Paltrow -- had scant credentials to offer guidance to tech-savvy app developers may have been one reason for the show's paltry following. It also may have had something to do with "Apps" being conspicuously similar to ABC's "Shark Tank" and NBC's "The Voice."
Apple's early forays into video included the mini-film "Please Forgive Me" last year with rapper Drake, and earlier this month it debuted its version of CBS Corp.'s (CBS) "Carpool Karaoke" with James Corden hosting, a show with a built-in audience. Hardly a big risk, though judging from the guest list -- Will Smith, Miley Cyrus, John Legend, Alicia Keys and Metallica, among others -- not an inexpensive project.
Apple also released a documentary about rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs in June, and another doc about longtime music industry executive Clive Davis is due out this fall, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue said in June.
Apple desperately needs to do something original.
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