“Apple has had a significant hand in pushing the media industry into the digital age. Now, the technology group is trying to find a way to get far more deeply involved in the business itself,” Richard Waters writes for The Financial Times. “The revelation that Eddy Cue, a senior executive at the iPhone maker, broached the idea of a possible purchase of Time Warner late last year is the most dramatic sign yet of Apple’s rising interest in media.”
“Thanks in part to the sale of things such as digital music and movies, services have emerged this year as the company’s largest source of revenue after the iPhone,” Waters writes. “And now that Apple has a foot planted squarely in the media industry’s door, it now seems ready to barge in further.”
Waters writes, “Whether it would seriously try to pursue an all-out bid for Time Warner — or whether the suggestion from Mr Cue was intended mainly as a heavy nudge to prod the company into releasing more of its content — points to one of the most intriguing questions over the future of the consumer technology company.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: What do you think: Seriously considered an acquisition or a negotiating tactic?
Here’s what we wrote of Apple’s burgeoning cash pile over three years ago:
Maybe it’s insurance in the face of recalcitrant content providers (“last chance: sign the deal or we’ll buy you with petty cash”)? — MacDailyNews, February 21, 2013
Apple should use their cash pile to create some much needed leverage to finally get their Apple TV subscription bundle(s) up and running even if all they do is flash their cash around. — MacDailyNews, January 14, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue proposed bid for Time Warner – May 26, 2016
Obviously, Apple could buy Time Warner, but they shouldn’t – January 14, 2016
Apple eyeing Time Warner assets to ease launch of a stand-alone streaming TV service – January 13, 2016
We all know what happened the last time a tech company acquired TimeWarner… AOL had to regurgitate it not long afterwards (or was it the other way around?).
I met a lot of cool people through AOL’s chat rooms in the 1990’s. When DSL and cable began to erode their base, AOL failed to pivot and offer their social network outside of their gates. People just moved on to more open and convenient technologies like cell phones (texting), Yahoo, etc. And then when social became popular on YouTube and Facebook it was game over for AOL.
AOL’s sticky sauce was social and because of incompetence or greed they failed to offer their community what they wanted: ubiquitous access.
And I don’t mean to be a negative Nancy; I’m just pointing out the risks. Since AOL had over half the U.S. market they could of been Facebook and Google, but because of poor leadership AOL Time Warner failed to take risks.
So, the question is, do some of these same strategic thinkers still work at Time Warner? Does Apple want to associate themselves with this level of incompetence? The market cap of Time Warner is $58B, and the market cap of Facebook + Google is $837B. If these corporate suits from Time Warner have been fully expunged over the last few years then it’s a different story. Maybe there might is some talent there that can move the ball forward.
To late Apple missed buying Pixar, years ago would had been a bargin at 10 billion.
Products that are very aligned with Apple’s capabilities and expertise:
– Improved phones, smartwatches, laptops, desktops, Apple TV
– New AI voice-controlled assistant devices for home, car, etc.
– New virtual reality of augmented reality computing devices
Areas where Apple might be successful but will lose their radical focus on personal computing:
– Original music, movies, etc.
Apple should stay focused on personal computing until opportunities are tapped out their. I would love and Apple Car, but if Apple introduces an Apple Car and sets up a media studio before I can work and play in an Apple VR computing environment, it will be a bad sign that they no longer value focus.
Quite right, Apple has been losing focus on ‘personal computing’ by focusing too much on ‘personal consumption’ devices. Focus more on the computing part Apple. Mac users are still hopeful!
“Apple should stay focused on personal computing until opportunities are tapped out their.”
Sell it off to someone who has in interest in managing it. It’s not clear right now that they are interested in personal computing. I have heard promises of great things coming…we shall see.
Cook has offered Mac users nothing but empty promises and inferior products since he arrived. There is a limit to how long people can wait for his pipeline to deliver competitive new products.
It was content that aided in great performance of Apple’s top money makers:
iPod was great because you could hold “1000 songs in your pocket”. But it took off even more due to iTunes. The development of the first true digital marketplace for consumers, combined with a pocketable device that can hold play and manage it easily
iPhone was great and revolutionary, but it was the App Store that made it truly take off
iPad and AppleTV haven’t taken off to the same level because content is not as specific to those devices.
HBO alone would help change this.Everyone I know who gets cable, would drop it for just a standalone HBO subscription, or if a skinny bundle with HBO existed. Once Apple has this level of devoted fans to shows, combined with the right consumer electronic device that simplifies everything, then negotiations will be easy.
HBO and ESPN fans are almost as devoted as Apple fans. Combine that, and the rest falls into place.