Senior Apple executives vying in confused effort for transformative Hollywood acquisition

“Senior Apple executives have reached out to some of Hollywood’s most successful TV and film producers in the last couple of weeks about going to work for the tech giant,” Claire Atkinson reports for The New York Post. “While at least one of the discussions between Apple and an executive was vague when it came to the tech company’s ultimate goal, the executive was left with the impression that the Cupertino, Calif., company is looking for a transformative acquisition and not just a deal to buy TV shows.”

“There have been reports in recent weeks about Apple looking to kick-start a business in original TV programming,” Atkinson reports. “But the meetings last week — including sit-downs between Apple SVP Eddy Cue and Paramount Pictures and with Sony TV and film units — make it appear as though Apple may be aiming at a bigger deal.”

“‘They talked to Sony and Paramount last week. They are preparing something big,’ a source told The Post,” Atkinson reports. “‘Robert Kondrk, Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, everyone is trying to be the person,’ one insider told The Post. ‘They each want to be the guy, and they’re telling people, don’t deal with the other one.’ ‘Eddy is talking to some people. Jimmy is talking to others,’ noted a second insider. ‘They just haven’t figured it out.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully they figure it out soon as, in the current market, Apple TV is an unfunny joke.

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Are you ready for 4K TV? Apple TV isn’t. – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Hulu inks deals with Fox and Disney, adding ESPN, Fox News and more to forthcoming live service – November 1, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
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: Nope, we don’t want to be Netflix – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016
Here comes á la carte programming – without Apple – July 13, 2016
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015


      1. Merge Tim and Trump into the one guy and call him Trimp.

        Get the teleporter from The Fly and it can happen.

        It will make Apples and America great again and Will drive Al Bore crazy.

  1. You know what really makes this article convincing? The part where it says:

    “A third Hollywood insider, familiar with Apple’s thinking”

    In the good old days the used to be just “familiar with Apple’s plans”.

  2. This happens when you can’t fire someone. The people you do have, want the spotlight for making the big deal.

    The cool thing is, Apple is big enough to do both deals and it doesn’t mater. The real issue follows the saying, “Shoot or get off the pot.” (This is putting it kindly) Frankly they should just buy the whole company, Sony, Paramount or Disney and let them handle the entire entertainment business.

    At the moment, Sony is looking like a good acquisition. Six months ago, I would have said Disney. That’s how dynamic the industry is. Frankly they can’t lose either way. Just do it already and tell the boys to stick to music.

  3. Cue and the other guys strike me as losers. Not cool talking that way to anyone about a fellow executive.

    Tim Cook needs to fire these jerks and get some professionals in there.

  4. As as Phil Schiller might say “Apple TV should still be a hobby my ass!”

    So waitaminute – Apple executive are competing with each other independently to be the one that makes THE TV CONTENT DEAL, and there’s no uniform & cohesive single front effort to make that deal?

    That kind of thing suggests they HAVE lost their way and Tim isn’t doing his job guiding & vetting the responsibility for the effort.

  5. Tim cook has a plan that he will push through for Apple to TRANSform media. Apple will become the lead creative force behind content promoting all LGBTQMIA activities, pleasures, penetrations, and group activities. There is a very large market for homoerotica, transerotica, hamster erotica, and global warming with LGBTQ themes.

    That is the market Tim thinks about day and night. It will happen.

    1. You seem to write about these topics A LOT more often than Tim Cook. I wonder what that means. Hmmmm.

      Contrary to what you whiners complain about, Cook has made statements VERY rarely… only on a tiny handful of occassions over the last years.

  6. These days the large studios are more distributors than producers of content. Instead of joining the cabal of old line studios they might want to “Think Different” – what a concept – and disrupt the whole food chain.

    Apple has the pocketbook and the technology, what they lack are the people who have the Cree with the creative community to get things done. Buy a studio and you become a content company- something for which Apple has shown no ability. And if Clueless Eddie Cue is involved it will cost a truckload of money, underwhelm and underperform. Still awaiting the big payoff bringing Iovine and the Clown DBA “Dr Dre” were supposed to bring. If music is their long suit and Apple Music the result, imagine what playing in TV and movies would yield.

    Apple increasingly looks like Microsoft of the Steve Jobs II era- grabbing at straws, throwing money around and hoping something sticks. They are coasting, trading on their rep and look more and more like a one trick pony. One day the Next big thing will come, disrupt the current market, and if it is not an iPhone Apple will be in serious trouble. The overhead Apple now has in debt and payroll cannot be sustained by non iPhone business. If the iPhone falters the pink slips will start flying.

    1. If I understand all the Hollywood tropes of “You’ll never work in this town again”, Apple may have to make huge investments in bringing large groups of influential people on board at the same time or face alienating the few that move to Apple’s side. The movie industry seems to be somewhat of a large pay-to-play organization where ‘payment’ does not necessarily have to be in financial instruments.

      1. The Hollywood Media culture is clubby to say the least and is home to more nepotism than you will likely find in any other large business in our nation.
        Howard Hughes found out the hard way when he came in as an outsider determined to make a movie he wanted.

        Apple however, has the money, technology and clout to disrupt the whole scene. It will require a huge long term commitment in order to make it work, but it seems Tim Cook is a eunuch

  7. this strikes me as the money quote

    “….. an executive was vague when it came to the tech company’s ultimate goal.” – that and the evident free for all of various lead men vying to be the one who makes the deal.

    this reeks of poor, if not paralytic, leadership at the highest level. slow on the uptake and giving off the scent of growing desperation. not too good.

    other than that… personally i would go with disney. likely a safer bet in an overall risky proposition, this late in the game.

    1. Apple buying Disney is a disaster for many reasons, but loss of focus would be number 1.

      Forget a focus on great devices. When the latest Marvel movie fails to do as expected that’s what Tim Cook will have to talk about during shareholder meetings.

      AppleTV should get the same treatment as Apple Watch: A full OS taking every bit of advantage of its unique form factor. Why can’t I use hand gestures and gaze to control a fully functional wall computer, FaceTime whole rooms with friends, etc.

  8. Judgment Day will come at the WWDC. If this is just talk to stir up electricity (a deal may already be done and this may be background drama to build suspense and lower expectations), you won’t hear about it at WWDC. But there could be news. I’ll reserve judgment as with this group, it could go either way.

  9. AR and/or mixed reality will change the nature of content. The actors and AI will be utilizing a user’s physical surroundings as sets. There could also be sets which overlay on top of existing props like a 1920’s couch on top of a user’s modern couch, etc. The sets and action will be all encompassing instead of being displayed on a flat screen television.

    The action will be ongoing and spontaneous. A user could be walking in a traditional downtown area and maybe there is an AR bank robbery, or maybe robots will be fighting aliens in the sky and then the surrounding buildings are destroyed, etc. Maybe the action in an AR movie doesn’t occur unless the user in a specific location like at a particular historical monument or something. The possibilities are endless.

    Additionally, this future Apple created AR content could be proprietary. This approach would sell more Apple AR devices, especially if the competition is years behind in matching the quality of Apple’s AR content. You might say proprietary is unfair, but don’t you think it would be a prudent business decision if Netflix was the size of Apple and they created content, which only worked on Netflix branded devices?

    Some might say developers should create AR movies and shows. Do app developers create movies now? There might be a day when a developer can create the basic outline of a movie or show and AI takes care of the details, but until that time a large investment will have to be made to produce this new content. Enter Apple World.

    1. That seriously remains to be seen. It could also easily just be 21st century 3D glasses – a novelty, to be sure, but that’s all. In fact, I personally think that’s more likely.

      1. Look at the success of Pokémon Go. That immensely successful app/game is just a tiny glimpse into the future. These next generation AR experiences will be pre holodeck, and will be vastly more entertaining than watching moving 2D pictures.

        There will still be some people who are going to prefer content on a screen, and there might be special use cases for this. And others might even feel nostalgic, but the majority will prefer the new technology. This new technology will facilitate unfathomable ideas like providing teachers the ability to port into classrooms AI AR historical figures such as Einstein to discuss General Relativity.

        If Apple won’t lead this next step who will? Microsoft?

  10. There is a big void in original content produced by Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu that Apple can fill: family programming. It seems that over 90% of the original programming on these services is geared toward young children or Adults. I’m talking about ratings of G, Y, or MA. Apple could come in and produce programming that appeals to many families by targeting the PG and TV-14 ratings.

  11. Instead of just talking in circles to Sony and other Hollywood studios, Maybe Cook will just change the name of Apple to Sony II. Seems like he’s doing everything possible to follow the formerly great electronics maker in the direction of distracted mediocrity.

  12. Other than funding and providing a platform, I can’t for the life of me figure out why tech companies think they should be in the entertainment business in the first place, Eddie Cue’s ego is matched only by the level of his cluelessness. There is a humongous chasm of a difference between what Steve Jobs did in tandem with the music industry and what these clowns (and their fellow clowns around the valley) are attempting. It’s nuts, egos run riot.

  13. eh….

    Why doesn’t Apple focus more on stuff it’s good at instead of neglecting them like Macs?


    So even if Apple work like crazy and become SUPER SUCCESSFUL at TV content like …. Netflix, it would probably be LESS LUCRATIVE than Macs which they NEGLECT:
    Besides all the slow update issues, e.g: 3-4 years with the Mac Desktops, they DON’T EVEN SERIOUSLY MARKET MACS. ONE advertisement — the bulb ad — in the last few years, not even cheap web ads.

    Netflix had revenues of $2+ billion last quarter, Macs had $7+ billion !
    If you factor in all their costs, Netflix actually has a NEGATIVE CASH FLOW, i.e it losses money ! Macs make billions.

    btw Macs also make more money than iPad and more money than Apple TV, Beats, iPod, Watch , accessories (all the Other Products category) COMBINED.

    Apple should focus on stuff which are in THEIR SKILL SET and EXPERTISE like Macs. In these categories they have YEARS of experience , already own key elements (like OSX) thus have the competitive advantage. If they had focused on the Mac business over the last few years, a few percent increase a year compounded and maybe Mac revenues would be DOUBLE today.

    even if they wanted to broaden their scope, work on TV content etc fine but they should put more effort on their own expertise products like Macs instead of letting entire sections dwindle and die. What happened to the routers too? with ONE BILLION iOS devices sold that require wifi there’s no market for Apple routers? …. etc)


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