Apple’s answer to Game of Thrones
IF YOU are looking to beat HBO and Netflix at their own game, you had better come correct because Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black are hard to outshine.
Luckily the latest competitor to enter the streaming wars has more than enough money to take on these industry leaders.
As part of a push to take on the competition, Apple has set aside $A1.2 billion to spend on original programming for its own streaming service.
While the amount falls well short of the $A7.5 billion Netflix spent last year and is about half of what HBO spent during the same period, Apple is confident it can still rock the boat.
As part of this push, the company has given a straight-to-series order for a psychological thriller series developed by M. Night Shyamalan - the man behind The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.
According to Variety, the half-hour, 10-episode series will be written by Tony Basgallop and executive produced by Shyamalan, who will also direct the first episode.
This is the latest high-profile project funded for Apple's ever-growing originals slate, which includes a morning show drama from Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
In June last year, the iPhone manufacturer poached two long-time Sony Pictures Television executives responsible for some of the most widely acclaimed programming of the past decade.
Having served as presidents for Sony Pictures Television since 2005, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg played an instrumental role in developing the likes of Breaking Bad, The Crown and Better Call Saul.
Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue said the company hoped to benefit from the addition of the two men, who more than tripled Sony's slate of original prime time series under their leadership.
"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," he said at the time.
Apple hopes that by 2020, the inclusion of original programming will more than double its $A30 billion services revenue, which includes App Store sales, Apple Pay and Apple Music.
While the company did not elaborate on its strategy, it hinted that it will be looking to increase its original content from the karaoke shows and app development-based TV already on its $10-a-month streaming service, Apple Music.
A late push into the competitive world of online streaming might have its challenges, but Apple has an advantage to help its cause - a wide distribution and advertising platform from the one billion iPhones, iPads and other devices that run the tech giant's mobile operating system.
Moody's analyst Gerald Granovsky said a ploy to create its own original content and secure licensing deals for an expansive library would be cheaper than to buy a pre-existing content company.
"From a credit perspective, we'd much rather see Apple overpay to deliver original content than pay $50 billion to buy Netflix and basically compete for the same content," he told News Corp. "They'll definitely get a better bang for their buck by focusing on their Apple TV product."