Apple is on a mission to bankroll Hollywood-produced premium video, and its first publicly-revealed purchase involves legendary director Steven Spielberg.
Apple has entered into a deal with Spielberg’s company and NBCUniversal to make new episodes of “Amazing Stories,” an NBC sci-fi show that was cancelled after two seasons in the 1980s.
The show will will have a $US5 million per-episode budget, according to the Wall Street Journal. For a benchmark, a recent season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” reportedly had a budget of more than $US10 million per episode. It’s not entirely clear if Spielberg will have a hands-on role in the new show, though the WSJ says the Oscar-winning director will likely be an executive producer.
This is the first public deal from Apple’s new top Hollywood executives, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who joined the iPhone giant earlier this year from Sony.
Apple wants to sell additional online services to its hardware customers and has set a goal to double the size of its services business to $US50 billion by 2020. A big part of that increase is expected to be driven by a Netflix-style subscription service that offers original, exclusive content.
Apple’s first two TV-style shows, “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” were streamed through Apple’s $US9.99 music subscription service, Apple Music. They received mixed reviews.
Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.