Apple hires Amazon’s Fire TV head to run Apple TV business

“Apple Inc. has hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, the former head of Inc.’s Fire TV unit, as a vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing and shifted the executive who previously held the job to a spot negotiating media content deals,” Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg. “The moves suggest a renewed focus on the Apple TV and on providing more content for the device, an effort that has been stalled in the past by failed negotiations.”

“Twerdahl joined Apple this month, a spokesman for the iPhone maker said. He had been general manager and director of Amazon’s Fire TV business since 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile,” Gurman reports. “At Apple, Twerdahl reports to Greg Joswiak, a vice president in charge of marketing for the iPhone, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

“Twerdahl’s hiring frees Pete Distad, who previously occupied the role, to help lead Apple’s content deal efforts, headed by Eddy Cue, the person added,” Gurman reports. “Twerdahl comes to Apple with significant experience in internet-connected TV devices. Prior to his tenure at Amazon, he was an executive at Netflix Inc. and later a vice president in charge of consumer devices at Roku.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Analysts at eMarketer estimate Apple TV is currently being used by 11.3 percent of connected TV consumers, with its market share continuing to shrink,” Luke Stangel reports for Silicon Valley Business Journal. “This is partly due to price (At $150, Apple TV is more expensive than any other major streaming device), features (Apple TV hasn’t been refreshed in over a year, and still only supports 1080p) and content (everyone supports similar TV apps).”

“Apple hopes Twerdahl can help jumpstart the product. He certainly has the resume, having worked in senior hardware roles at Motorola, Netflix, Roku and WIMM Labs before joining Amazon,” Stangel reports. “He spent nearly four years at Amazon, overseeing the 2014 launch of the Fire TV as that product’s director and general manager.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A long overdue move. Hopefully it’s a big enough move to make the difference this time.

One more time: Which Apple VP is in charge of Apple TV among other chronically glitch-prone services that are uniformly saddled with Microsoftian UIs?

Therein Apple’s problem lies.

A jovial, fun-loving nature wrapped in unbuttoned shirts is no substitute for execution, quality, taste, and signed contracts, Tim.

Beloved by all, yet failing the company. It’s a conundrum that needs to be solved.MacDailyNews, November 3, 2016

It’s quite possible that without Steve Jobs’ help, Eddy Cue couldn’t get ink in a stationery store.MacDailyNews, November 5, 2015

Google signs up CBS for planned web TV service to debut in early 2017; close to deal with 21st Century Fox – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016


    1. Cook won’t fire Cue.

      Eduardo Cue is Cuban.

      Diversity. Above all else. Performance be damned. Typical liberal illogical stupidity. It’s what’s given us the Affirmative Action President (8 years of mess, likely allowing Iran to position themselves to go nuclear and start WWIII) and it’s what’s given us the 4K-less, no-bundle, over-priced, underpowered Apple TV failure.

      1. What a load of crap. I don’t think Eddie Cue will be fired either, but that has nothing to do with his race/ethnicity.

        Cue has been around the company for a very long time and was one of Steve’s most trusted lieutenants. A guy like that just doesn’t get pushed out so easily.

        Plus there’s this: we don’t know how effective Cue is behind the scenes. And he probably has a lot of great relationships with people inside the entertainment industry.

        So while I agree that Cue sometimes doesn’t seem to be the most effective person for the job, that doesn’t mean that this outsider perspective is true. And even if true, again, someone with his standing and tenure with the company is very hard to dislodge.

        Please keep your racism to yourself.

        1. Scott Forstall “has been around the company for a very long time and was one of Steve’s most trusted lieutenants. A guy like that just doesn’t get pushed out so easily.”

          If Cue were effective, Apple TV wouldn’t suck today, a 4K version would have been on shelves for last Christmas, an Apple TV stick would already be available, and Siri wouldn’t be so very, very slow to develope vs. knockoffs from rivals which have now surpassed it in the eyes of the buying public.

          Cue’s big claim to fame is that we was in the room when Steve Jobs got the music labels to distribute via iTunes Store for 99-cents per song.

          Cue is overrated, underperforming, and highly overpaid. If he disappeared today, Apple not only would be fine, the company would likely be better off.

          1. ….and it has been reported that EC had a bit too much I’m- Apple hubris when unsuccessfully negotiating for more ATV content. Nobody likes a bully and they’re hard to forget.

  1. Content deals don’t strike me as being massively important – unless you have access to literally everything. I subscribe on and off to Netflix but it’s for their original content. If there happens to be something else that they got as part of a deal then fine, but you can get these things all over the place, it’s the unique stuff that makes you stay.
    Look at the studio making all the money in films at the moment – Disney. They’ve signed up Star Wars, Marvel, and before that Pixar, and now, on top of their own library the’ve got this massive catalogue of content. Imagine if Apple got hold of that and made it unique to Apple products.
    I love football, so in the UK I have SKY, in order to get the sport I get some other content thrown in, Sky have a decent set top box and the ability to watch stuff on demand so I’m more than served in that regard.
    If you’ve not got original content that people will subscribe for on it’s own then I think you need to have a truly comprehensive offering of third party content. I think Apple might need to buy something to really catch up/get ahead.

    1. Content “deals” may/may not be important, but there’s no doubt possession of content is important. Somewhere along the line, Apple has embraced the importance and now has content creation on the road map. Maybe this is the result of Eddie’s lack of SJ’s persuasion skills to reach deals with content holders?

  2. Apple spent about $3 Billion overpaying for a maker of shitty headphones and Bluetooth speakers that had just launched a rental rap service (Beats). Later they implied it was to get the serial abuser/washed up rapper dba Dr Dre and washed up Producer of acts mostly broken up or dead (Iovine). After a very long time of giving away a trial to anyone with a pulse, they still have fewer subs than a barely profitable startup.

    The genius behind all that- Clueless Eddie Cue.

    Apple TV has given up it’s first mover advantage with the Apple TV and been passed by by Roku- a company that used to make streaming audio devices that worked with iTunes- and Amazon. Dish has been able to get Sling TV up and running, AT&T has been able to get Direct TV Now up and running, Comcast, Fox and Disney have Hulu ready to launch a streaming live package, Google has a streaming service ready to launch. Apple has bupkis. This despite having Bob Iger (ABC/Disney/ESPN) on the corporate board.

    The genius responsible for Apple’s failures- Clueless Eddie Cue.

    ITunes – the app- has been FUBARed on all platforms into a non-intuitive mess from a company known for great and consistent UIs. Exactly why is it that I- someone who pays for iTunes Match and has no account with Apple Rental Rap- get messages from time to time on my supposedly non-DRMed music that it is ‘not authorized on this device’? Who the fuck does quality control at Apple?

    The genius responsible for iTunes and Apple Music- Clueless Eddie Cue.

    Notice a pattern?

    Maybe Pipeline Tim should spend less time fundraising for Hillary, schmoozing with Paul Ryan, marching in SF Pride and get his ass over to his office and fire the guy who has had all the resources anyone could ask for and still cannot get things right. Clueless Eddie Cue. He has been able to leverage better than 800 million iTunes accounts into his rental rap service they have sunk Billions of shareholder Dollars into.

    Where is the accountability?

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