Apple is reportedly spending $15 million per episode for its upcoming TV show “See” which features Jason Mamoa. The show is set centuries in the future where a virus has almost entirely wiped out the human population and left the remaining survivors blind.
By spending big bucks per episode, Apple and other companies looking to enter the crowded streaming market are spending as much as a big-budget movie for one season of a show. It used to cost Netflix $4.5 million per episode for every ‘House of Cards’ episode in 2013.
Since then though, as the competition in the streaming space has intensified and as major companies battle it out to attract new subscribers, the amount of spending per episode has gone up dramatically. Disney is also spending nearly $15 million per episode on its “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian”, while Amazon spent $250 million just to acquire the rights to develop a “Lord of the Rings” series.
One of the major reasons behind the increase in production cost is that the content is offered for streaming right next to theatrical films so they cannot look inferior in any way.
With massive casts, exotic filming locations and copious special effects, budgets have ballooned to amounts once considered unfathomable for a TV show. One driving factor, executives say, is that high-profile TV shows are offered up next to theatrical films available to stream on the same service, so original programming can’t risk looking like B-material next to the movies.
Apple is working on more than a dozen original shows, with almost all of them comprising of high-profile actors and directors. Most of these shows must be costing the company around $10 million -$15 million per episode. Compared to the likes of Netflix and Prime Video, Apple is already late in the video streaming service and it would need quality content to attract customers. This will be even more important since Apple TV+ is initially expected to launch with licensed content, with original shows from Apple releasing on the platform at a later date.
Apple TV+ is expected to launch later this year, with there being no word from the company on its pricing.