As it steps up from Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps and deepens its well of original content, Apple will grow its investment in video from current levels of about $500 million to $4.2 billion in 2022, according to a projection by VC firm Loup Ventures.
The report, by former longtime Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, predicts that Amazon will top both Apple and current leader Netflix by spending $8.3 billion by 2022, an average annual growth rate. But Apple is on the steepest trajectory as it looks to rebrand its subscription music streaming service and combine it with video over the next two to three years, according to Munster, a veteran tracker of Apple. It will grow spending from this year’s level nearly nine-fold in five years, an annual growth rate of 54%.
“Apple cares about original content because it will grow its services business,” Munster wrote. In calendar 2017, services revenue will be 14% of total revenue, but will grow by percentages in the high teens in coming years, more than double the growth rate in hardware (sales of iPhones, iPods and the like).
Building from a current base of 30 million Apple Music subscribers, a video-powered Apple SVOD service would instantly leapfrog Hulu, the No. 3 SVOD player, which Munster estimates to have between 12 million and 15 million subscribers. Helping Apple execute the push into video are Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were lured away from Sony earlier this year in a splashy hire.
Unlike its SVOD rivals, Munster looks for Apple to “steer clear” of licensed content, a la Amazon’s deals with CBS and others for Prime windows or Netflix’s nine-figure outlays for syndicated workhorses like Seinfeld and Friends.