The longtime Apple watcher sees the increase as an effort to compete with incumbent subscription VOD giants. But Apple won’t catch up to either by 2022 in terms of spend, projecting that Amazon will eclipse Netflix, $8.3 billion to $6.8 billion.
Earlier this year, Apple signaled its intent to invest as much as $1 billion into original programming. That’s still well short of Netflix, which announced previously an $8 billion budget toward original and licensed content in 2018, and Amazon, which is expected to spend more than the $4.5 billion that went into premium video entertainment this year.
Munster envisions Apple rebranding Apple Music in the next 2-3 years to reflect a scope larger than just songs. “Apple should be able to quickly expand their sub base given they have a running start with just over 30 million Apple Music subs that will have access to the video offering for the same $10 per month,” he wrote in a Nov. 21 research note.
The rationale behind the spending increase is making good on Apple’s pledge to grow its Services business, which Munster estimates will account for 14% of the company’s revenues in 2017. He projects that sum will grow at a high-teens rate for the next several years.
While Apple has yet to make clear whether Apple Music and/or some other part of its business will be where its original programming will be made available to consumers, the company has begun greenlighting original series including an “Amazing Stories” reboot from Steven Spielberg and a news-business comedy featuring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.