Just because Apple may be getting into original content doesn’t mean it can produce good shows

“Apple is considering following in the footsteps of Netflix, Amazon.com, Google and even Spotify by producing its own entertainment content, according to a report by Variety,” Miriam Gottfried writes for The Wall Street Journal. “That had investors in Netflix particularly worried Tuesday; the shares fell around 8%But when it comes to original content, the fact that everyone is doing it doesn’t make it any easier to do well, even for mighty Apple.”

“Despite its Internet-video lead, Netflix is still a long way from becoming HBO. And that is despite plans to spend about $3 billion on content this year and almost $5 billion next year, with a chunk of that going to originals,” Gottfried writes. “Amazon, which is spending $1.7 billion on content this year and has been hiring from Hollywood, has had only a few critically acclaimed shows.”

“Granted, a few billion might be chump change for Apple. But money clearly isn’t the only ingredient for content success,” Gottfried writes. “Indeed, Apple may be using the threat of original content as leverage in negotiations with media companies for its planned TV service.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The leak to Variety could certainly have been a leverage move, but as we wrote earlier today, “There is a finite amount of top flight producers, writers, directors. The company with the deepest pockets (and the willingness to reach into them and dispense the contents) wins this game.”

Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon – September 1, 2015
Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015
Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015


  1. I don’t know what scares me more: Apple making cars, or Apple making movies and other video content.

    Is this really the best use of Apple’s talents and resources? I wonder.

    1. There’s really nothing to be scared of.

      (1) if Apple gets into making cars, there will soon be nobody left to buy their products.

      Don’t agree, ponder over the ever increasing bugs and security nightmares in iOS and MacOS which have literally plagued every Apple product ever made. And it’s only getting worse with every passing day!

      (2) Apple may become successful if it sticks to kiddy movies, programs and apps who are now the greatest consumers of Apple products including iPads and iPhones. To ensure Apple will remain successful, they need to partner with Toys”R”Us, not Best Buy and Walmart.


      🙂 🙂 🙂

      1. Somewhat agree, only I justify my Apple loyalism by the nightmarish experiences I have had in my life working with anything Windows.

        It’s one thing to have bugs and missteps. It’s another to totally and irrevocably suck.

      2. You make an interesting point with (2).. Has anyone done a study of the age demographics for iOS products adjusted for possible influence of such purchases by parents for their dependent children? As they say, in Japan the High School Girls greatly influence the market. Maybe a certain child age group is the greatest influence in Apple products.

      3. Yeah, can’t disagree with you more…

        There has always been bugs and security holes in software and there always will be. The day that all goes away is the same day a human never goes hungry and never gets sick. The logistics are the same. You can’t control what people do. People write code. People use software. People make bad decisions.

        Short-sided people fail to understand perspective and only look at what’s in front of them. There aren’t anymore bugs or security threats than before. What we have now is instant communication where issues quickly become “pandemic” due to the sheer number of people writing about it and reading about it.

        All you have to do is look at your local news and the number “reports” that are siphoned off the web. Most of the time they’re missing many facts and usually take quotes from “informed” sources who run those sites.

        You obviously weren’t around 20 years ago when fatal crashes on PC’s were an almost daily occurrence and when true viruses and worms decimated entire networks. Or even just a little over 10 years ago when Apple released the very first version of OS X that was so bug ridden and unusable that I had no choice but to switch back to Mac OS 9.

        For the complexity and size of software and operating systems today, I’d say most developers are doing an exceptional job of keeping code clean and safe.

        The only way to keep software completely bug-free, is to never add anything new to it.

        The only way to keep software completely safe is to keep it isolated from everything else.

    2. Apple could make a bonfire out of 5 billion dollars and never miss it. It is hard to imagine they could drop half that on Hollywood and not upset someone’s applecart. Talent follows money. Apple brings no adds. On my vacation this summer, the hotel had cable. I had forgotten how miserable commercial interruption can be. Apple is about to teach that lesson to a lot of people.

      1. Yep, I’ve already had 4 lifetimes worth of too many time wasting “commercial interruptions” and too many in-yer-face irrelevant or tracked ads (despite precautions) on websites.

        Ads are one of the banes of modern existence. (Though I realize my life could be a whole lot worse than it is.) As much as they want to cram this stuff down our throats, it’s our duty (to remain sane) to use any method available to hide, stop or avoid it. Enough already.

  2. Anyone else feel like in some ways apple is trying to be everything to everyone by endlessly expanding?

    Yes, I know, I know. The strategy is to get into markets where they have something to contribute, competitive advantage, yada…yada…yada.

    However, when you expand too much, you lose focus on the core.

    “How so?!” your average, rabid fanboy will respond.

    Well…let me count the ways. Feels like software and services have taken a back seat to hardware lately.

    Maybe Apple ought to resign itself to refinement updates every other year – as a standard – as a commitment to making sure that things just work, routinely.

    1. Don’t believe the hype. The only new product category they’ve launched in years is the Apple Watch. Other than that it has been product updates. I agree that they’s been a little sloppy on the software lately but that has nothing to do with everything to everyone. If anything, it’s quite amazing the the largest company in the world can make so few different products.

      1. And if they did make as many products as Samsung or Procter & Gambel, i shudder to think of the gnashing and thrashing. Keeping it down to a dull roar – that’s acceptable

  3. I might also add…

    This is a similar, eerie, path that Microsoft took. They thought they could conquer the world and get involved in everything. They were having success, no real competitors, tons of money, decent ideas (albeit poor execution, questionable leadership, and vision that was a tad askew…

    “Well, Microsoft is not Apple!”, your average, rabid fanboy will respond.


    But the journey, obstacles, roadblocks, etc are approximately the same.

    Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered…er something.

    1. The headline is just another way of saying “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make decent shows, PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

      It’s a tradition started with the iPhone, then Apple Pay and Apple Watch. It will continue whenever Apple shows signs of entering any established business.

  4. Apple doesn’t need to become a media powerhouse, they just need access to at least a few key content deals — like live sports or a couple of hit TV series or blockbuster movies.

    Or they could just buy Netflix with the change lost in Tim Cook’s couch.

  5. Think Different! Please!

    Consider Apple buying a Netflix, HBO, … or just the majority shares of them and then splitting off the AppleTV into a division of Apple (the parent company). Did you not just see Google do this? This could be the streaming side / source for the Internet Digital Box division. Maybe Apple could just buy TiVo and replace their box with AppleTVs and keep it as a separate division. Or maybe let TiVo use AppleTVs as their box.

    Just “Think Different!” Assume there are a few employees that Steve Jobs trained and trusted with his company!

  6. I don’t see the big deal. Hire an expert. Put them in charge of buying some of the best content, put them in charge of hiring some of the best producers/writers/directors. Have this one person report to Tim. If stupid Netflix and Amazon can find good content, then so can Apple. Go after some A List relent. Make the content exclusive for the Apple TV.

    1. My thoughts exactly. This new division wouldn’t have to be a big distraction for TC and his band of brothers, right now. Hire the right person, let this person hire the right team, let him/her do his/her job, and immediately reap the benefit of added leverage in any present and future negotiations with the studios… I personally like this idea a lot, considering how it will further increase my enjoyment of my brand new AppleTV 4.0!

  7. Apple needs to do something to fatten up its P/E because whatever it’s doing now isn’t helping one bit. Again today, Apple took a bigger drop than Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook, all companies whose P/Es dwarf Apple’s. It’s sort of annoying seeing Apple stock getting dumped after some idiot says Apple is going to disrupt every industry out there. Who the hell would believe something like that? Not investors, that’s for sure.

    Apple may be cheap but it’s getting cheaper by the day. Apple should find something that might put some value into the stock. I think it could afford to expand a wee bit more and find something, anything to balance out that huge iPhone revenue that everyone says won’t last. Honestly, what’s the big deal? Apple can afford to experiment with extra projects.

  8. Just because Apple makes a phone doesn’t mean it will be good. Where have we heard this FUD before. Every time Apple enters a new product or service idiots start mouthing off before they even have any facts in front of them. They said this about the IPod and the iTunes Store. Then the App Store. Let Apple show us what they have planned. They usually think things a little differently.

  9. Variety’s Miriam Gottfried is silly. before Apple even starts, she’s putting the service down!?! why this Schadenfreude with Apple all the time?

    1. no one knows Apple is going to do content
    2. why state the obvious – that good content must be for it to succeed?!
    3. if every business started on yes, but what if quality will stink, or doubts, why bother with anything?
    4. why would Apple, if content depends on support, infrastructure, knowhow, connections, funds, creativity, vision, guts etc. not handle it?!
    5. if Miss Gottfried is so smart and more experienced, let her take over what she thinks Apple is lacking. The question is, how successful is she in anything? It’s easy to talk or complain without fundamentals. Frist, do it better, walk the talk, or STFU.

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