Apple to take a bigger bite of Hollywood
The Future. Apple TV+ is gearing up to become the biggest player in Hollywood (that isn’t named Disney or Netflix). Without the padding of licensed titles from other companies, Apple is betting on ambitious original content to draw eyeballs. After failing to buy HBO years ago, Apple may be trying to become HBO (and a classic movie studio) to differentiate itself from the now risk-averse old guard… while positioning Apple TV+ beyond just a way to sell hardware.
Lasso leads the way
After dipping its toes into film and TV in the past couple of years, Apple is planning to ramp up its ambitions.
- The tech giant plans to double its output to one new movie or show a week.
- It’ll spend $500 million to market Apple TV+.
- It’s looking to plant some roots in Hollywood with an L.A. campus.
Still, Apple TV+ only has about 20 million paid subscribers (and another 20 million on free trials). But with Ted Lasso becoming the sitcom to watch during the (ongoing) pandemic, the service is capitalizing on its moment in the sun.
Outside the orchard
Apple has been quietly setting the stage to make a major splash over the past couple of years. It inked deals with A24 and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free, while also dropping hundreds of millions of dollars on buzzy titles such as Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Matthew Vaughn’s James Bond-esque Argylle franchise-starter. These are huge, bold risks that Hollywood studios have been cautious to greenlight, but Apple has the cash to bet big.
The biggest challenge for Apple is, surprisingly, marketing its upcoming movies and shows. Infamous for creating a walled garden around its hardware devices, Apple has stunned many by loosening its iron grip with Apple TV+. It’s put the service on rival set-top devices and remotes, like Roku.
With Apple’s service’s division quickly becoming a powerhouse revenue-generator, it knows that Apple TV+ needs to be a key driver of continued growth… especially as the streamer becomes the centerpiece of the company’s subscription-focused Apple One bundle.