Apple preps $1bn war chest, adds Cherniss

Apple has been steadily ramping up its programming efforts over the past year and The Wall Street Journal today reported the company has a $1bn pot to acquire series and produce its own originals.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cherniss will take on the role of chief creative/head of USA programming and will report directly to Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony Pictures Television executives Apple hired earlier this summer. That's about half of what HBO spent on its shows in 2016, and the same amount Amazon spent on programming in 2013, the report notes.

This isn't the first move Apple has made that shows it's serious about original programming.

Apple has yet to actually confirm whether it has a TV streaming service planned. Moreover, it is also not clear if the company will still make use of Apple Music subscriptions or launch a dedicated internet service.

Apple, Facebook and other digital and tech giants are increasingly keen to own content as part of wider strategies to control the entertainment supply chain.

So what do you think of Apple coming into original content business? It debuted reality shows Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke earlier this year, but TechCrunch noted they were not well-received. The alleged $1 billion budget will be put toward acquiring and then producing these original shows. Those kinds of shows-scripted comedies and dramas-are expensive to produce, and we've seen Netflix's annual budget for original programming increase over the past few years to accommodate that. Forbes reported previous year that the sixth season of "Game of Thrones" costs $10 million per episode. But as we saw with Netflix and Amazon, all it will take for Apple to become a player in this space is one or two big hits.

Vanessa Coleman