Report: Apple Is Going Shopping For Original Content With $1B To Spend

Image courtesy of Håkan Dahlström

Months after rumors first started swirling that Apple was looking into buying its own original content to bolster its Apple Music platform, a new report indicates that the tech giant might be ready to go shopping — with $1 billion to burn.

Buying in

According to insiders cited by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has gone through its couch cushions and collected about $1 billion earmarked for buying and producing original content over the next year.

Apple could produce as many as 10 TV shows, sources told the WSJ, which could be offered on either Apple Music or a new service dedicated entirely to video.

Apple declined to comment to the WSJ.

Playing with the big kids

Although $1 billion sounds like a hefty chunk of change, Apple is late to the game, and its competitors Amazon and Netflix have bigger programming budgets. For example, Netflix — home to heavy hitters like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black — is expected to spend more than $6 billion on acquiring programming this year.

However, Apple does have its brand reputation and marketing power to boost its efforts, as well as $215.64 billion in revenue last fiscal year and more than $261 billion in cash on its balance sheet, the WSJ notes, so it could continue to throw money into this area.

Apple has tried to nudge its way into the original content arena already, with shows like Planet of the Apps — a reality show about app developers — and Carpool Karaoke on Apple Music. Neither have been received warmly by critics.

In the meantime, Facebook is also reportedly interested in buying and producing scripted TV shows, with a possible budget of up to $3 million per episode.