Apple and MGM have held acquisition talks

MGM has held preliminary talks with Apple, Netflix, and other larger media companies about an acquisition as the biggest streaming companies consider strengthening their content libraries, CNBC reports today. Apple, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Disney, and Netflix may be a new “Big 6” among global media companies.

Apple MGM acquisition - James Bond actors pictured
Bond. James Bond. MGM owns the James Bond catalog

Alex Sherman for CNBC:

MGM has held preliminary talks with a number of companies, including Apple and Netflix, to gauge their interest in an acquisition, two of the people said. MGM owns the James Bond catalog and its studio has made several current hit shows including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which streams on Hulu, and “Live PD,” a reality police show that has frequently been the most watched show on cable TV and airs on A&E. It also owns premium cable network Epix.

Disney will want Disney content for its streaming services, AT&T will want WarnerMedia content, NBCUniversal will use NBCUniversal content, and so on. If that’s where the world is headed, the big streaming services will continue to look for an edge over each other. That’s good news for the little guys, which may see their values spike if they turn into juicy acquisition targets.

Apple, for example, is brand new to media production and distribution and has started Apple TV+ without an existing library of series and movies to entice consumers. Buying an existing studio with experienced media executives may make sense, especially if the company, such as MGM, is heavy on intellectual property and light on people. (Apple is historically averse to corporate integrations that may result in culture clashes.) Apple, of course, also has a balance sheet that dwarfs virtually every other media company and could make a sizable acquisition without betting the company.

MacDailyNews Take: As we reported in November: We continue to hear whispers that a “very big” Apple acquisition looms. If completed, it will be “Apple’s biggest acquisition by far” and most likely occur “sometime in 2020.”

That was a followup to what we originally reported on April 4, 2019: A little birdie tells us that “a major Apple acquisition looms,” but that “it’s not yet a done deal.”

If it goes through, however, “people will be shocked.” No further information was given.

We’re unsure if “people will be shocked” at the name of company Apple may acquire, the size of the acquisition, both, and/or something else altogether.

Stay tuned.

8 Comments

    1. Your talent for predicting the future rivals only Miss Cleo’s. Apple’s recent push into adding Apple TV content to other manufacturers’ TV sets is diametrically opposite the nonsense you just excreted.

  1. I would think Apple only needs to acquire content catalogs and not whole studios. I can’t say whether I’m for or against Apple purchasing a studio as I don’t know what it means long-term. I don’t see any other tech companies buying content studios so I’m not sure if it’s something worthwhile for Apple to do. If Netflix isn’t doing such a thing, then I don’t think Apple should, either. All I would want Apple to do is make deals with various content studios for some exclusive content. Apple should keep all of its content options open and not be tied to just one studio. As various content studios come out with hot content, Apple should be ready to bid for it and stream it for a certain length of time. Apple’s cash flow is far higher than Netflix, so Apple should certainly have an advantage over any other company when it comes to bidding for content.

    I’m not saying what Apple should do because I don’t know enough about obtaining content. I’m only saying how I see it. I feel Apple is smarter than I am.

    Personally, I would rather have Apple find new ways of distributing streaming content to all of its devices anywhere in the world.

  2. I don’t think people will be watching “passive” Netflix style content in 10 years. People under age 20 have a hard time watching a 90 minute movie (and if they do, they fast forward to the action sequences). By 2030, I imagine most people will watch video content of 5 minutes or less (short attention spans), and they will spend more time in interactive virtual environments . . . so Apple investing billions of dollars in Netflix-style content today would be like someone opening a Blockbuster style store in 2007 — when that type of business was already on its last legs.

  3. Apple is currently promoting TV+ as only having Apple original content. Unless they want to change that message, purchasing MGM assets doesn’t make sense. I feel that TV+ wants to be the next HBO and will only have Apple originals, unless they decide to bill MGM content as “Apple Originals” after a purchase.

  4. MGM has been sold six times (sorry 10 times) since 1965 there is nothing of value in MGM or any of those existing studios, ask yourself why are they (Major studios) buying comic book companies for the rights to stories. There is nothing left.

  5. What people seem to be missing is that the ‘streaming services’ are locking down their content.

    This is no longer just new and exclusive content, You can see as Disney, HBO and others are pulling back their catalogs to be exclusive through their streaming services this is turning into a dollars and cents battle for subscribers money.

    What’s the value of the subscription fee.

    Netflix grew because it had the catalogs of everyone and then added exclusive content, people can still watch a netflix series and when that’s over have ‘other’ content to watch. Value for subscription.

    Today Apple is extremely limited, when the series is over they don’t have the additional content.

    With a purchase like this, they could open two avenues, a deep catalog, and a large studio capable of creating many new items of content in parallel. They can also hurt other services, like netflix and hulu, by pulling back the catalog to only the ATV+ service, making their subscription worth more in the future.

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