Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production

“The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving: Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business,” Andrew Wallenstein reports for Variety.

“Sources indicate the Cupertino, Calif. colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content,” Wallenstein reports. “The unit putting out the feelers reports into Eddy Cue, who is Apple’s point man on all content-related matters.”

“The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked, but one high-level executive who talked with the company said the goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix,” Wallenstein reports. “Other sources described the company’s exploration as more of a flirtation, though pointed to one recent sign that an escalation of interest is clear: Apple is said to have made an unprecedented bid to secure the stars of “Top Gear” when they exited their BBC series earlier this year. But Amazon ended up winning the bidding war for Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in July.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Finally!

Too bad about losing Clarkson, May, and Hammond, though. That would have been quite the coup!

As per exclusives:

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels [with other content gatekeepers]. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.MacDailyNews Take, May 6, 2014

SEE ALSO:
Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jeff.L” for the heads up.]

28 Comments

  1. I am sure a lot of people like Top Gear.

    Personally, I don’t.

    But I would love to see Apple produce original contact or series for the ATV. Maybe one in each major genre. Sci Fi, drama, action adventure, romance (ya, for the ladies), true crime, ect.

    1. The three Top Gear presenters are the show business equivalent of outdated technology that’s been around for years. Apple doesn’t buy companies like that.

      The Top Gear trio had been successful but have spent the last few seasons repeating the same thing over and over with minor variations, always sticking to the established formula. If a tech company operated like that, Apple wouldn’t dream of buying them up. Top Gear is like Nokia was five years ago; once excellent, but with no credible ideas for a successful future. Who would have been stupid enough to buy a company like Nokia ? Certainly not Apple!

      Apple buys relatively unknown companies with great prospects for the future. It should apply exactly the same principle if it decides to go into original TV productions.

      Think back to when Steve Jobs personally invested in Pixar. At the time, Pixar was a niche company, but Steve could see that although they were great animators and used technology well, their real skill was telling a story in an engaging and entertaining manner. It was their extraordinary emphasis on developing a brilliant storyline before starting shooting that set them apart and made them so immensely successful. It was essentially the same as Apple’s quest for perfection before launching a new product, with their emphasis on the user experience.

      If Apple needs to think in the same way and put it’s money into relatively unknown, but promising people, who have the vision and skills to create something original and enthralling. Throwing huge amounts of money at established successes that are past their sell by date is not the way to make huge profits in the entertainment business.

  2. Now it is imperative for them to purchase a media property. Why? because why fight building a media empire, when all they want to do is change the game.

    They don’t have to buy Hulu, but if they buy Disney, they would end up controlling Hulu anyway.

    1. I think this is a bluff. I think this information is being floated about in order to scare the networks into making a deal for the Apple TV. Apples wants to say, if you don’t work with us, we’ll build a network without you and you’ll lose viewers, talent will be more expensive, and eventually you might be irrelevant.

      The big networks are already bleeding views to the internet like crazy. The last thing they need is for a company with billions of dollars to spare to make an effort to speed that up.

  3. So all those tech analysts and jouranalists writing all those ridiculous and ludicrous stories about Apple are like actually serious.

    Wow, is that ever funny!

    1. “The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked” is a weasel way of saying nobody has the foggiest idea what Apple is up to, because they are very secretive. Apple asks lots of questions during their endless hunt for humdrum problems crying out for simplifying tech solutions. This leads to speculation, which leads to sensational rumours, which leads to breathless reporting of same. It has become a game, an emotion pump like the stock market, one in which conscienceless exploiters can prosper by scaring people to believe anything.

      Anyone can participate. Here, let’s try, shall we?—

      Speaking of scale: I recently viewed “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” (1993) with Daryl Hannah as the hormone-crazed giantess. Now THAT is a property ripe for series development, given today’s emotionally-charged atmosphere of sexual politics and political correctness. Apple could easily persuade Donald Trump to bankroll it, Carly Fiorina to produce it, and Kathryn Bigelow to direct. A-list celebs would scrap for guest-starring roles.

      Rumour: Apple takes on DC & Marvel with new larger-than-life heroine! Samsung responds with Ms. Godzilla!

      1. I love it, and hey, what about some new TV shows, like President Trump, the TV show. It would be all about Mr. Trump as president dealing with important issues and stuff. Would make a great campaign.

        But wait there’s more. If he wins the election (I think that takes a couple years there anyway) it could be a reality TV show. It’s such a win win.

        Thanks for the comment, made my day.

  4. Wow. I’m so glad they are doing this instead of, you know, fixing their other shit now to make it work as good as everything used to.

    Oh, look!!! Something shiney…..

  5. I don’t understand why Apple seems to move at a snail’s pace. They should have purchased Netflix years ago. Amazon and Netflix are way ahead and I hope Apple catches up. Just like Apple Music should have been released years earlier. I don’t like the glacier pace of Apple.

      1. No, that’s not necessarily true. There is a point where you have let everyone get in front of you. That has happened with Apple in music and video streaming. Apple has no presence in social media. Apple has no search engine. Taking forever to get around to finishing a project doesn’t mean that you will do it well. And let’s face it, Apple sucks at services. And they have had plenty of time.

    1. media executives , if you read their speeches during financial reports etc, don’t want to give too much power to Apple. they keep saying they don’t want to end up like the music business where iTunes controls most of the music distribution. Media execs say they like ‘multi tier’ distribution and many outlets. They think Apple is too rich, too powerful and want to limit it.

      years ago Apple execs complained that media companies sold material way cheaper to others like Amazon than to Apple so after adding profit Amazon’s SELLING price could be cheaper than Apple got from the media companies. This is the media worlds way to limit Apple’s expansion. (thats how also phone carriers think about iPhones and Android. Their execs say they want Android vibrant to keep multiple suppliers).

      I think if Apple bought Neftlix etc, the media companies once the contracts expire would stop selling content to it at such favourable terms and Apple would be back to where it was now.

    1. Create entertaining stuff, not fluff.
      Put your heart into it, don’t bluff.
      If you worship only turnout
      you’ll miss the grace of burnout
      and get called on your bluff.

  6. Please create something that aims at the other part of the population that has a brain. Would it be too much to ask for really intellectual shows some of the time?
    Yes I know this would be a small percentage of the population, but if done correctly, they would have most of the smart, people with money, watching these shows.

    I can only dream.

    Now back to… oh joy, another reality show. Barf.

  7. Buy Paramount, and a few independent film studios, sign the top 5 directors in Hollywood to 5 picture deals from Spielberg to Scorcese and fund Sundance entirely and you’ve got something no one can touch. I think they can afford it.

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