Apple has reportedly committed $6 billion towards developing original shows and films for its online streaming service, set to launch towards the end of this year. Apple had initially set a budget of $1 billion but it would seem that the growing competition within the streaming sector has led the tech giant to ramp up its efforts. One show in production is set to star A-list celebrities including Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and is projected to pay such a hefty sum to the actors per episode that it will rival the wage packets of those received by HBO’s Game of Thrones’ stars.
Impact on Businesses and Law Firms
Apple has been struggling of late with the increased tensions between the US and China. The Apple TV+ venture is an interesting development and will shed light on Apple’s ability to adapt within a new division. A successful venture would reflect Apple’s brand strength and loyal customer base.
People are highly unlikely to hold several different streaming service subscriptions and so we will likely see, over the next two years, the increased attempts of streaming services to ‘win’ the favour of consumers. Apple has vast amounts of cash on its balance sheets to fund the expensive productions costs and Netflix will no doubt be apprehensive of Apple TV’s launch.
Further down the line, as competition becomes increasingly fierce, it is possible that streaming services might enter deals to merge or one might acquire another. M&A lawyers would be involved in this and antitrust lawyers would be called upon to ensure any such deals do not monopolise the market unfairly. Currently, the entertainment sector is one that is growing and as streaming services vie for productions and licensing rights, lawyers will be instrumental in drafting up the necessary documents to facilitate these rights deals.
By Alice Gossop