Apple has reportedly carved out a $1 billion budget for original programming over the next year, putting it closer to the spending range of rivals like Amazon and Netflix.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple could use the budget to acquire and produce as many as 10 TV series. And the budget would be in the hands of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the two Sony Pictures Television executives Apple lured away in June.
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a statement. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple—there is much more to come.”
“It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team,” said Erlicht in a statement. “We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products—unparalleled quality.”
The content could be housed on Apple’s existing music streaming platform or a new video-focused service, according to the report.
The report comes as Apple has begun to debut its own original series. In June, the company debuted “Planet of the Apps,” a reality competition series produced by Ben Silverman and hosted by Will.i.am, Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk. Earlier this month, Apple debuted a spinoff series for “Carpool Karaoke,” the popular recurring skit from “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
As the report points out, a $1 billion content budget from Apple is about half of what Time Warner’s HBO spent last year on programming. But it’s still well short of the $6 billion Netflix plans to spend this year and the estimated $4.5 billion Amazon intends to spend.
Earlier this year, Cue said Apple isn’t interested in pursuing a massive content slate comparable to Netflix’s or Amazon’s.
“We are trying to do something that’s unique, that takes advantage of our platform and then really brings culture to it, and—right now we think we could do that with partners like [Silverman]. We don’t see that anywhere else,” Cue told VentureBeat.