Netflix has no idea what Apple is doing with $1B worth of shows (and doesn’t really care)

Little sister Erica from Stranger Things isn’t impressed by your Ghostbusters costume or your $1 billion programming budget.


Netflix is pretty well versed in the art of burning through money to make internet TV. But like just about everyone else, the streaming service has no clue what Apple is doing with $1 billion of television programming. 

“I don’t have any idea what that Apple product is going to be,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said Tuesday. “I don’t think anybody does. I don’t think people making shows for them have any idea.”

Sarandos, who was speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, added that Netflix doesn’t “put much focus on any competitor.”

In the last year, Apple has been doling out a $1 billion budget to recruit TV projects from high-profile film and television stars. So far Apple has nabbed big-name programming deals with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg, among others. The effort has turned Apple into one of Netflix’s biggest competitors, at least in theory. But with the exception of some vague hints from CEO Tim Cook, Apple has been silent about how people will ever watch any of its shows. 

Netflix, which is spending about $8 billion on programming this year, makes so much content it’s sometimes criticized because projects can get lost on the service. Sarandos rejects that idea. 

“The notion that things get lost on Netflix is silly,” he said. “Things get ‘found’ on Netflix” by the people most likely to watch them because of the company’s recommendation algorithms.”

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech. 

Apple: See what’s up with the tech giant as it readies new iPhones and more.

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