Apple to Produce Masters of Air In-House

Apple TV+ borrows ideas from HBO and Netflix, including production of original content. Masters of Air, part of the Band of Brothers series, is being produced by Apple in their own TV studio.

By Chand Bellur

October 12, 2019 at 1:11 p.m. PDT

Masters of Air Produced in Apple’s New TV Studio

Large corporations often outsource a lot of their needs to other entities. Everything from janitorial services to enterprise software architecture are often accomplished by outside firms. Part of the rationale for outsourcing is expertise. A non-technical company doesn’t have the in-house talent to develop enterprise software, for example. They’re not going to get into the business of enterprise software, so they have it done by a consulting firm.

When a large company takes a product or service seriously, it’s usually done in-house. This allows greater control over the end product, which appeals to Apple’s commitment to quality. By producing their new show, Masters of Air in-house, Apple demonstrates that they take TV production seriously. Building a TV studio is a clear sign that Apple is really in the TV business for the long haul.

The move is not surprising for Apple. Although they outsource some aspects of their business, they’re notorious for doing things themselves. They even design chips and components for devices, where most companies would just buy stock units from suppliers.

Producing TV Provides Exclusive Content Ownership

Netflix uses the term “original” quite loosely. People often assume that shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black were produced by Netflix in their own facilities. The truth is, these shows are produced by outside TV studios. They’re funded by Netflix, however, the exclusivity is often limited to specific regions. Viewers in other parts of the world can watch these shows outside of Netflix, as they’re not truly owned by the video streaming giant.

Stranger Things is one of a few Netflix shows that’s actually self-produced. It’s a relatively new show, and one can expect Netflix to follow this strategy, as they completely own the content. Similarly, Apple’s self-production of Masters of Air gives them total ownership of the content.

Is In-House Content Production Cost Effective?

Apple, Netflix and HBO are not entertainment production companies. Although HBO has been producing content for some time, they are primarily a TV network. Much of their content comes from external movie studios.

In-House content production may seem like a simple endeavor, however, today’s TV shows are almost as extravagant as Hollywood movies. They have massive budgets and take a long time to produce. This may be part of the reason why large corporations have embraced in-house production. As both budgets and projects grow, companies like Apple, Netflix and HBO can realize economies of scale effects, making in-house production more affordable. Along with cost-effectiveness, they have complete control of content in addition to exclusive rights. Given these benefits, it makes sense for Apple and others to produce their own TV shows.

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