When Apple TV Plus won an Academy Award for its original movie “CODA” Sunday, it became the first FAANG stock to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
It is a win that Big Tech power players have been jockeying for, for over six years.
What began with Amazon Prime’s expansion into original streaming content in the mid-2010s led to last week’s announcement of its blockbuster $8.5 billion purchase of MGM a week ago, followed by another announcement that it will invest $21 billion in 2022 to attract A-list actors to star in its original movies.
Apple TV Plus can now arguably be called a Hollywood power player, with its movie, “CODA” winning Best Picture.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has presided over his company’s expansion into filmmaking and is said to be pleased with the results.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us — both from a creation point of view and from an ownership point of view,” Cook told CNBC back in 2016. In 2019, the tech giant spent over $6 billion on original programming, and in 2021, Amazon, $13 billion.
To date, Apple TV Plus has produced more than 10 original feature films, including “The Tragedy of McBeth,” starring Denzel Washington; and “Greyhound,” starring Tom Hanks.
When the former co-presidents of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, were hired five years ago to lead Apple’s original content development, Van Amburg talked about his ambitious goals for Apple entertainment: “Apple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with [its] products. We will bring that same intention to Apple’s programming, and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead,” Van Amburg said in 2017.
Few could have predicted that five years later, the best picture of 2021 would be produced not by an entrenched Hollywood studio — but by a Silicon Valley tech giant instead.
Next: NFL & Sports Packages
Tech analysts predict this is only the beginning for Apple TV Plus. “We believe the company is gearing up to ramp original content and also bid on a number of upcoming sports packages [NFL Sunday Night Ticket] coming up for contract/renewals in future years,” says Dan Ives, senior equity research analyst at Wedbush.
“Taking a step back, Apple TV+ is a small, but highly strategic component of the overall streaming services ecosystem ($80 billion annual revenue in FY22) that is becoming a key monetization engine for the company over the coming years to tap its golden and unmatched installed base,” Ives told Yahoo Finance.
With Apple’s ongoing negotiations for acquiring the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket, combined with Amazon Prime hosting Thursday Night Football with broadcaster Al Michaels for the upcoming season, both Apple and Amazon are moving even deeper into the entertainment industry.
$17.5B Revenue in Q221
Even before CODA’s historic win, Apple TV Plus was seeing rising subscriber growth, steady expansion plans, and achieved $17.5 billion in revenue in Q2 2021 alone. Now that CODA has won the Oscars’ top prize, it is reasonable to assume that revenue in Q2 2022 will exceed expectations compared to one year ago.
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