The news that Apple has allocated one billion dollars for producing audio-visual content is the latest in a series of important strategic actions concerning the most important giants of Hollywood, Cupertino and the Silicon Valley.
After taking the route of production with content available on Apple TV (which, however, was not as successful as they had expected), Apple took away two important managers from Sony Pictures, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who are now responsible for the budget management which, though it’s huge, is still quite limited compared to the figures allocated by the most famous studios: HBO, which spends about 10 million dollars for every episode of Game of Thrones, has an annual budget of two billion dollars, Amazon gets to four and Netflix to six.
Netflix is the undisputed protagonist of summer 2017. After the hard blow struck by Disney, which decided to remove all its productions from the platform with the intention of creating its own one, Reed Hastings’ company replied with a series of important conquests: a David Letterman show, a new animation product by Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons), a deal with the queen of TV drama Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are her creations, not to mention those funded by her production company, Shondaland) and a new TV series created by Oscar-winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen. However, the streaming giant should not underestimate the abandonment of Disney, which could become the most formidable opponent of Netflix: the greatest of the Big Six studios in Hollywood, besides its famous animation movies, owns all the Marvel products (including the extremely successful titles Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders), the mainstream TV network ABC and the sports channel ESPN.
Netflix will have to beware of Zuckerberg too, since he recently announced the creation of Facebook Watch: even if it is a platform similar to YouTube at present, Watch pledges to become a streaming service associated to the main used social network in the world, which counts on two billion users. Moreover, Facebook proved to know how to integrate business models without difficulty in the past (e.g. Snapchat).