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Apple & Spielberg to Collaborate for Amazing Stories Revival

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Per media reports, Apple Inc (AAPL - Free Report) has signed a deal with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and NBCUniversal to revive Amazing Stories.

Though Apple did not make any official comment, a NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke was quoted saying, “We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming.” 

Critically acclaimed,Amazing Stories, a sci-fi anthology series created by Spielberg and it ran from 1985 to 1987 for two seasons. It has won five Emmys. Apparently, Apple will shell out $5 million per episode for the reboot series.

Apple has been ramping up its original content efforts. The iPhone-maker reportedly plans to invest $1 billion in 2018 in original television (TV) shows and movies. In June 2017, the company hired former Sony Corp (SNE - Free Report) executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg and they are now in charge of buying/producing content for Apple Music.

They played a pivotal role in bringing acclaimed series such as Breaking Bad, The Goldbergs, Justified, Preacher, The Blacklist, Bloodline, The Crown, Rescue Me, The Shield and Sneaky Pete to Sony. 

So far, Apple has launched two shows namely Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, a series based on a segment of the James Corden’s Late Late Show. The response to both the shows has been lukewarm.

With the revival of Amazing Stories and the collaboration with Spielberg, Apple is trying to keep its programming in line with its brand. The company reportedly wants premium stuff for its programming and is in talks with top Hollywood actors, producers and directors. 

Apple’s strategy to diversify into the streaming business is a positive, primarily due to the favorable industry trends. Apart from a shift in viewer preference to online streaming from legacy platforms, binge viewing is catching up fast. 

Per Research firm MarketsandMarkets, the industry is anticipated to grow from $3.25 billion in 2017 to $7.50 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2%.

However, Apple needs to watch out for increasing competition in this space both from established players and new entrants like Facebook Inc (FB - Free Report) and Snap Inc.

Netflix Inc (NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon dominate the space with their award winning series. Per Business Insider, peers like Netflix and Amazon have budgets of almost $7 billion (as reported by Variety) and $4.5 billion (JP Morgan estimates), respectively.

Zacks Rank & Stock Price Movement

At present, Apple carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). In the last one year, shares of the company have registered growth of 34.61% compared with the Zacks industry’s gain of 33.87%.

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