It was pretty revolutionary when Netflix made the jump from simple streaming service to peddler of original TV content. To the point where everyone has been playing catch up and earn a slice of that pie for themselves. The only person who's come close to topping them is Amazon, but reports claim Apple is gunning for the big chair.
According to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning on investing $1 billion ( £777,121,550) to produce and acquire original programming over the next year. According to the source that could mean as many as 10 new programmes might come out of the world's weirdest fruit company, with the intention of matching the output from the likes of HBO.
The number itself is significant, with HBO reportedly investing $2 billion over the next year, plus $1 billion from Amazon and a crazy-high-sounding $7 billion from Netflix. TV isn't cheap, especially if it's successful enough to last several years.
It's not surprising news, to say the least. The WSJ has noted that Apple's share of the digital sales-and-rental market has dropped from 50 per cent in 2012 down to 35 per cent. The launch of similar services will have accounted for some of that decline, but subscription services are also to blame. For obvious reasons, why pay £6+ for a single film when you can get a month of Netflix for the same price?
Apple has made some attempts to produce its own original content, and while Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps were poorly received, it only needs one solid hit to get the ball rolling. After all, most people credit House of Cards for Netflix's recent success.
Investment is a good way to sway some creatives onto its side, but the real question is whether or not people would actually engage. Plenty of people got angry when Disney announced it would be developing its own subscription-based streaming service because they don't want to have to pay another monthly fee. If Disney can't sway people over, what chance does Apple have? [WSJ via The Verge]