Netflix is spending a fortune in 2017 for original shows and movies, dropping $6 billion in 2016 alone. That’s a giant pile of money, but Apple could literally cover Netflix’s bills with its cash on hand, a staggering $231 billion. If Apple wanted to, it could probably just buy a Hollywood studio, as they’re going for about $80 billion these days. But Apple’s plans for original shows, and its way of distributing them, reveal that the company would rather not compete directly with Netflix or other streaming services.
We already know that Apple has Planet Of The Apps, where celebrities widely mocked on Twitter judge apps, and Vital Signs, a scripted show from Dr. Dre that has an orgy in it. (Sam Rockwell is portraying Ego. Yes, the concept.) But the Wall Street Journal reveals that there are grander plans at work, none of which involve competing with streaming services like Netflix. Instead, Apple will create exclusive content on Apple Music, which is logical in that it’s got a lot of subscribers, and the move will make it stand out from Spotify, but it also moves their content away from Netflix and other streaming services.
To be fair, Apple has probably seen Netflix take on all comers and knock them out, sometimes fatally. Google spent millions promoting YouTube Red and none of the shows it promoted have made a dent in the popular consciousness. You’ve probably heard of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee but have no idea it’s on Crackle. Compare that to Netflix and Amazon’s track record, and it’s an intimidating industry.
Still, there’s absolutely no reason Apple can’t compete. It has the money, and it has its own entertainment mogul in-house. We assume that Dr. Dre knows a few people who’d be interested in making TV shows for Apple, and frankly many would see it as a better use of his time than hawking wireless headphones. But for reasons unknown, it won’t. And we’re forced to wonder why.
(via Wall Street Journal)