Apple Readies $1 Billion War Chest for Hollywood Programming

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Apple Inc. has set a budget of roughly $1 billion to procure and produce original content over the next year, according to people familiar with the matter—a sign of how serious the iPhone maker is about making a splash in Hollywood.

Combined with the company’s marketing clout and global reach, that immediately makes Apple a considerable competitor in a crowded market where new media players and traditional media companies are vying to acquire original shows. The figure is about half what Time Warner Inc.’s HBO spent on…

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