T-Minus around one year until Apple enters the battlefield of streaming content, and when it hits it plans to hit big. A report in The New York Times says the tech giant is looking to debut its original series sometime next year, as early as March 2019 or into the early summer.
How it intends to distribute these original programs however remains unclear. For now, industry execs expect Apple to adopt some kind of subscription video on demand model akin to Netflix or HBO Now, but that’s not a certainty at this point.
Former Sony Pictures Television chiefs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht came onboard mid-2017 to head up original programming with at least a dozen original series announced with many getting straight-to-series orders.
Amongst them are a new drama series from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle and “Red Sparrow” helmer Francis Lawrence, a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, a sci-fi series from ‘Galactica’ showrunner Ronald D. Moore, a comedy from Kristen Wiig, a comedy from Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, an animated musical comedy with Josh Gad and Kristen Bell, and a true crime drama with Octavia Spencer.
Apple has told industry partners that it has an annual budget of some $1 billion to spend on original content. While that’s a fraction of the money being spent by the likes of Netflix and Hulu, it’s expected Apple’s service won’t include licensed content and stick entirely to their own originals.