Apple said set to go on $1 billion TV content-buying binge

Apple has compiled a budget of around United States dollars 1 billion to acquire and produce original video content, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

According to sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to use this $1 billion investment to secure up to ten high-caliber TV series.

A couple of years ago, news that Apple planned to spend $1 billion to produce original content would have sent a tremor through shares of Netflix and media companies. Apple's senior vice president, Eddy Cue also has ambitions to rival shows like the Game of Thrones. And Apple is seemingly positioned well to create high-quality content - the $1 billion budget is under the control of recently hired top Hollywood executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, which oversaw productions of AMC's Breaking Bad and Netflix's The Crown.

Erlicht and Van Amburg have begun meeting with Hollywood agents to find shows the company could acquire. The shows will likely air on one of Apple's existing platforms or perhaps a new, video-focused endeavor. In their capable hands, the company no doubt hopes to unleash multiple hit movies and TV series that could soon propel Apple firmly into elite status in the streaming video world, and compete with titans like Netflix and Amazon Video.

More news: HBO Hackers demand $7 million for not leaking GOT Episodes

Apple's first forays into its own content, Late Late Show spinoff Carpool Karaoke and the reality show Planet of the Apps, haven't quite broken through in any meaningful way, although Apple's original content effort is still very young. This year, Netflix is expected to spend more than $6 billion on its shows.

Cherniss has been named as head of domestic creative development at Apple, having left his role president and general manager of U.S. basic cable channel WGN America (WGNA). Apple and Game of Thrones - that would be something to definitely look out for.

But that era lacked a cohesive strategy, with various Apple execs involved in shows on a case-by-case basis, according to insiders. This comes as it seeks to double revenue by 2020 from its services business including Apple Music and App Store.

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