Apple may put $1 billion into original TV content next year

Apple's original content efforts are only getting started. The company plans to put $1 billion into producing its own original shows next year, according to sources, something that will make it a driving force in the growing market for original streaming shows. Though such a budget won't put it into the realm of big networks like HBO yet, it will position it as an upcoming competitor targeting the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, all of which are arguably the biggest sources of original online programming at the moment.Apple TV Review (2015): Living with big-screen Siri

The information comes from sources speaking with The Wall Street Journal, which says that it got word from people who have knowledge about the plans. The alleged $1 billion budget will be put toward acquiring and then producing these original shows.

Sources claim that Apple is set to produce as many as ten of its own original TV shows in 2018. Newly acquired Apple employees Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht will be in charge of managing the original content budget. The extent of their control over the shows Apple will produce is unclear.

The best time to have gotten into the original streaming TV programming industry was a few years ago, but there's still time for Apple to establish itself as a strong player. The company has already dabbled in original programming with Carpool Karaoke, though it will need something with larger appeal and better ratings if it hopes to compete for viewers' limited television time.

Leakers state Apple has already been talks over potential actors for its shows as well as possible shows to acquire. Development will be overseen by Matt Cherniss, former president of WGN, the sources say. The sources didn't state which shows Apple may be eyeing, nor the type of content it is considering. Presumably Apple is looking at multiple genres as a way to establish itself across many different viewer bases.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal