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Ng Han Guan / AP

Apple is dumping $1 billion into creating original content in an effort to compete with other major tech giants, mainly YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook, The Wall Street Journal reports. The investment is pretty big compared to what cable companies (other than HBO) spend on original content, but small compared to the investments already being made by other tech companies. For context:

  1. Netflix: ~$6 billion annually
  2. Amazon: ~$4.5 billion annually
  3. HBO: ~$2 billion annually

Why it matters: It's another sign that tech platforms have the budgets and clout to compete with traditional TV for for viewers' eyeballs and attention. It's also representative of the saturated U.S. display advertising market. The tech companies are now all vying to win a chunk of the $70 billion TV ad market by giving brands video content to run ads between on their platforms.

Apple could acquire and produce as many as 10 television shows, sources familiar with the initiative tell The Wall Street Journal. The push is a part of Tim Cook's vision to expand Apple's services business, which includes apps, software, etc and Apple's content SVP Eddy Cue's vision of offering high-quality video. The investment comes just months after Apple poached two executives from Sony's production arm to launch a push into the original programming business.

Our thought bubble: There's going to be a lot more premium video inventory on the major platforms for marketers, and the quality of the content, as well as mobile and digital TV delivery, will be a big part of what drives buys.

Gut check: Digital video ad spend is growing, but TV is still huge.

Go deeper

Gaming CEO calls on industry to help fight climate change

"Catalyst Black." Screenshot: Super Evil Megacorp

Gaming CEO Kristian Segerstrale is calling on leaders in his industry to take action on climate change, after completing a $1.4 million fundraising campaign this summer.

Why it matters: Gaming's pandemic-fueled boom creates an opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to do some good.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

4 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

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