After seeing success with its hit show “Ted Lasso,” Apple is doubling down on its streaming endeavors for its nascent service AppleTV+.
The Silicon Valley giant is will ramp up its output of new TV shows and movies next year, pumping out at least one a week, which will more than double its pace this year, according to a new report from The Information.
The company also plans to spend more than $500 million on marketing Apple TV+ this year, the report said.
Apple did not return requests for comment.
Apple’s foray into streaming has been met with mixed reviews. At first, Hollywood had doubts that the IPhone maker was serious about becoming a major player in the entertainment biz when it launched AppleTV+ in 2019.
Apple boss Tim Cook unveiled the service like he would a new MacBook, on stage to much fanfare. While the star-studded event boasted the promise of TV shows and movies starring big-name celebs, the service launched with hardly any new content. Cook’s lofty plans stalled as the nit-picky culture of the tech giant rubbed Hollywood heavy hitters the wrong way, as reported by The Post. Among the complaints was that Cook himself gave feedback, saying some shows were “mean,” and that execs were “intrusive,” yet “lacked clarity” about the direction of the projects.
Apple detractors criticized the cautious approach that the cash-rich company has taken while rivals like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon are leaning heavily into growing their businesses. As a point of comparison, streaming giant Netflix has said it intends to spend $17 billion to produce movies and shows in 2021.
Meanwhile, reports in 2017 said Apple was spending just $1 billion on its initial slate of original content. Two years later, the tech giant had reportedly increased its original content budget to $6 billion to compete with the bigger streaming giants.
“I have not been impressed by what Apple has done. They have created a couple quality shows and a lot of less than interesting shows. They are just not getting that broad appeal yet,” Bank of America analyst Nat Schindler said Thursday on Yahoo Finance Live. “They obviously have a lot of money, so they could really invest a lot. But they haven’t to date. Their initial investment of about $1 billion in content is chump change. Netflix does that in much less than a month at this point.”
Still, over time, Apple has found its footing and has methodically began producing critically acclaimed shows, like “Ted Lasso,” starring Jason Sudeikis, “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon, as well as booking big-name projects like Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated Western, “Killers of the Flower Moon” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
What’s more, the tech giant is making a grab for more subscribers by making the rare move of partnering with streaming device maker Roku. As reported by The Post in June, AppleTV+ bought a button on the Roku remote in a move that Apple hopes will expand its customer base.
At the time, LightShed Partners analyst Rich Greenfield called Apple’s Roku play is “shocking” development because it signaled that the iPhone maker has finally realized it “can’t just be within the walled garden of Apple.”
“Nobody ever would have expected this,” Greenfield told The Post. “The thought that Apple, rather than create a device that’s going to replace Roku is now buying a button next to Netflix or next to Disney+ just shows you that as they get into the content business, they need to be everywhere.”
Apple doesn’t break out subscriber numbers for Apple TV+, but analytics firm Ampere Analysis estimated that Apple’s streaming service may have surpassed 40 million subscribers by the end of 2020. By comparison, Netflix recently reported over 209 million global subscribers while Disney+ now has more than 116 million subscribers.
Meanwhile, Apple is also ramping up its spend when it comes to infrastructure. Apple is looking to lease a massive production campus in Los Angeles in order to grow its entertainment and streaming efforts. It is unclear what the company is looking to spend, but the news raised eyebrows as to whether Apple will finally acquire a movie and film studio like rival Amazon, which agreed to buy MGM for $8.45 billion earlier this year.
Apple had held discussions with MGM, which. is known for its “James Bond” catalogue of films, but it reportedly never offered a specific bid.