HBO CEO Richard Plepler “called up his old friend Jimmy Iovine to help him execute a pivot. Plepler had done PR for Iovine years earlier, at Warner Music,” Nicole LaPorte reports for Fast Company. “Iovine had sold Beats, the headphone business he owned with Dr. Dre, to Apple in May, for $3 billion. Plepler asked if Iovine thought Apple would be interested in being the lead distributor of HBO Now. Iovine didn’t hesitate: ‘I think that’s the shit,’ he said.”
“Plepler also reached out to Time Warner board member Paul Wachter, who worked on the Apple-Beats deal in his day job as an investment banker,” LaPorte reports. “Wachter connected him with Apple’s digital media chief, Eddy Cue, who came to New York for a meeting in Plepler’s office. Plepler explained that he needed a distributor, and that HBO Now would be ready by the spring (when Game of Thrones’ season 5 would bow). Cue tells me that he wanted to do the deal with HBO ‘the next day.'”
“It was an opportunistic arrangement that suited both sides. Apple has long been an also-ran in the streaming-TV wars. Teaming up with HBO, the kind of high-end partner Apple likes best, could help jump-start Apple TV. As for HBO, the deal did far more than simply deliver a distribution partner. Teaming up with the world’s most valuable and respected company would shine a bright light on HBO Now’s debut. Also, the deal focused the company’s digital ambitions—building for just one platform was infinitely less time-consuming than building for several—in a way that could ensure an earlier launch than the old deadline of late 2016,” LaPorte reports. “The deal was sealed before Time Warner’s investor conference in mid-October…”
Tons more in the full article – highly recommended – here.