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Apple and Its Journey through Programming

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Oct. 25 2017, Published 7:19 p.m. ET

Apple is reeling in Amazon’s Morgan Wandell

Apple (AAPL) is hiring Morgan Wandell, Amazon’s (AMZN) head of International Series, in a bid to further the tech (technology) giant’s push into original programming. Wandell has played a key role in Amazon’s highly popular shows, including The Man in the High Castle.

Amazon’s original content team has seen some turmoil recently, with Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, leaving the company over sexual harassment allegations. The company may also cut ties with producer Harvey Weinstein after dropping a series he produced.

Amazon faces stiff competition from Netflix (NFLX), which has earmarked about $8.0 billion to develop its own content in 2018. As the graph below shows, Netflix and Amazon have been spending aggressively on original content.

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Apple’s budget for content is much lower than Amazon’s and Netflix’s

Apple is also serious about developing its own content. Before getting Wandell, the company hired two Sony executives. Apple said it will invest $1.0 billion in content. While that doesn’t compete with the budgets of Amazon, Netflix, and HBO, it could be seen as a good start.

Recently, Apple inked a deal with Hollywood stalwart Steven Spielberg. The deal entails reviving Spielberg’s popular 1980s series Amazing Stories.

Apple’s initial foray into programming, including Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, failed to impress. However, the arrival of Wandell and others shows Apple’s intent to enter the programming market.

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