Apple Spending $6 Billion on Original Content for Apple TV+ [Update: Launch Coming in Nov., Price Could Be $9.99/Month]
Apple has spent over $6 billion for original TV shows and movies for its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, set to launch later this year.
Apple originally set a budget of $1 billion for Apple TV+ execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who head up the project, but according to a source that spoke to Financial Times, that budget has now grown to more than $6 billion.
Hundreds of millions of dollars alone have been spent on "The Morning Show," one of the most high-profile shows that will be a part of Apple TV+. "The Morning Show" stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. Previous rumors have suggested that Aniston and Witherspoon earn $1.15 million per episode alone.
The cost for "The Morning Show" has apparently exceeded the $15 million per episode that HBO spent on the final season of "Game of Thrones."
Previous rumors have suggested that Apple is spending similar amounts on "See," an upcoming futuristic drama where much of the world's population has been wiped out by a virus, and the rest of the population is blind. "See," which stars Jason Momoa, is said to have a budget of $15 million per episode.
At $6 billion, Apple's spending doesn't quite match the $15 billion that Netflix is expected to shell out in 2019, but Apple is rumored to be offering more generous payment terms to help it win deals for appealing content. Apple is paying out earlier in the production process, "once certain milestones are hit."
Apple has said that its upcoming Apple TV+ series is set to launch in the fall, and the source that spoke to Financial Times says Apple is aiming to launch it "within the next two months" to pre-empt the November 12 launch of Disney Plus.
There's no word yet on pricing for Apple TV+, nor details on which shows will be ready, but several have finished filming and appear to be in the final stages of production.
Apple has dozens of TV shows and movies in the works for Apple TV+, with a full list of everything that's known to be in development available in our Apple TV+ content guide.
Update: A separate report from Bloomberg suggests Apple is considering charging $9.99 per month for the service, which will include a free trial.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is aiming to launch Apple TV+ in November, and is still deciding how shows will be released. Apple is considering releasing three episodes of TV shows at once followed by weekly installments.
"The Morning Show," "See," "Amazing Stories" and "Truth Be Told" are said to be some of the first shows that will be available at launch, with Apple planning to continue to release content on a regular basis going forward.