And the winner is…Apple!?
That’s the long-term Oscar prediction from Gene Munster, a Wall Street analyst-turned-venture capitalist famous–or maybe infamous–for his great expectations for the tech giant.
Munster not only envisions Apple collecting a statuette or two in not-so-distant future, but massive spending on original content on par with what Amazon and Netflix are already committing.
“We think Apple will win an Oscar in the next five years,” Munster wrote Friday on a research note issued by his company, Loup Ventures. “That’s how long it will take for Apple to scale its original content spend from less than $200 million today to $5-7 billion.”
Munster explains that the rationale for Apple to get into the movie business is the need for exclusive original content to drive user engagement within its broader ecosystem and increase revenues to its business’s Services division, which contains iTunes and Apple Music.
He cited the breakthrough Amazon enjoyed on the Oscar front last year with multiple nominations for “Manchester By the Sea,” including key categories like Best Picture. Netflix has also scored nominations for its original documentaries. Both companies are already spending in the $5-7 billion range.
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Apple is already dipping a toe in the original content business, having recently unveiled plans to launch two unscripted series on Apple Music, “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke.” But Apple content czar Eddy Cue has signaled that there isn’t yet any more ambitious plans in place to go deeper into the content business.
But it’s worth noting that Munster isn’t exactly Nostradamus when it comes to Apple predictions. While still an analyst at Piper Jaffray, he was notorious for repeatedly prophesying that Apple would manufacture its own line of TV sets, a forecast that has yet to come to pass. More recently, he predicted Apple would start making augmented reality headsets, which the company hasn’t announced any plans to start on anytime soon.