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Apple Ups Oomph for Original Sci-fi Show See With Jason Momoa

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is enhancing star value of its original programming content. Reportedly, the iPhone-maker has signed Jason Momoa to play the role of Baba Voss in its upcoming original series See.

Jason Momoa has played memorable characters like Khal Drogo in HBO’s popular show Game of Thrones and Aquaman in the DC Cinematic Universe. He is also working in Netflix’s (NFLX - Free Report) action series Frontier.

Apple’s Original Shows Boast a Solid Star Cast

Apple is keeping no stone unturned to make its much-anticipated streaming service a hit. Although initial shows like Carpool Karaoke and the documentary about Apple apps failed to achieve popularity, it didn’t deter Apple from expanding its original content star cast.

Reportedly, Apple has outspent Facebook and Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) division, YouTube, to acquire original programs. Notably, the company’s solid cash balance of $267.2 billion, as of Mar 31, 2018, is enough to support any overspending.

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Apple has signed deals with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Octavia Spencer, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, Francis Lawrence, Damien Chazelle, M. Night Shyamalan and Kristen Wiig to develop shows for its original content line-up.

Reportedly, Apple is also acquiring the distribution rights to its first animation movie from Cartoon Saloon, an Oscar-nominated animation studio based in Ireland.

Moreover, Apple is partnering with Emmy award-winning television producer Sesame Workshop to create children's programming, including live-action, animated and puppet series for its new streaming service. This is the first time the company is getting into children’s programming.

Original Content to Drive Services Business

Apple’s Music service is expected to benefit significantly from the availability of original content, which is now expected as early as March 2019.

The aggressive approach is quite understandable as Apple is quite late in joining the bandwagon. The streaming market is currently dominated by Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Comcast. Moreover, the space is anticipated to get more crowded with the launch of a streaming service by Disney (DIS - Free Report) .

The expanding original content portfolio is expected to improve user engagement that will ultimately benefit Apple Music and the Services business.

Apple's Services segment, which includes revenues from Internet Services, App store, Apple Music, AppleCare, Apple Pay, and licensing and other services, has become the new cash cow for the company. Apple Music is one of the main growth drivers for this segment.

Apple targets to double Services revenues of $24 billion earned in fiscal 2016, by 2020.

Currently, Apple has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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