Apple should move beyond streaming and scale up its movie business for theatrical release

Any streaming company that does not have a theatrical strategy, such as Apple, needs to get one, Steven Mallas writes for for Seeking Alpha. Apple can promote its Apple TV+ service via a multiplex slate, Mallas says, plus the company has the cash to invest billions in movies, as well as pursue significant acquisitions.

Apple TV+ is home to the biggest directors and top stars
Apple TV+ is home to the biggest directors and top stars

Steven Mallas for Seeking Alpha:

I’ve always said that companies such as Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and even Facebook, require theatrical strategies in addition to distribution of original content on digital platforms.

Apple definitely, and finally, needs to commence a theatrical strategy (a real one). It’s puzzling to me why the company hasn’t thus far.

Apple should move beyond streaming and scale up a movie-slate business for theatrical. Yes, even in this rough pandemic era. And it should consider the business a revenue stream of its own, even though it is obviously conceptually intertwined with Apple TV+.

A multiplex-focused strategy of major-studio-like, tentpole product, could easily become a thriving division of Apple. Once that is at scale, the tech giant’s streaming unit would be on the road toward paying long-promised dividends…

Apple could also get a better return on its cash (it held over $60 billion in cash/marketable securities as of Q3) by looking at acquisition candidates in the media industry. It could easily buy Lions Gate Entertainment, as a favorite example from the discussion section on some of my articles. Creating a startup studio internally and bolstering it with an acquisition would be a powerful combination…

Apple is ready for this because now that Apple TV+ is making some waves with its content (e.g., Ted Lasso, The Morning Show), it has the opportunity to build on that momentum. When Apple eventually releases a Marvel-like film that does Marvel-like numbers, it will sell Apple TV+ subscriptions, no question.

MacDailyNews Take: We continue to hear peeps that “a significant acquisition is coming; it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when'” from a little birdie. COVID-19 may have delayed things in that area for Apple, but some media-related Apple acquisition may be coming eventually.


  1. Whooo boy this guy thinks he’s got it all figured out. Even Apple can’t afford to piss away 60 Billion on stupid poorly thought out acquisitions or ventures – just because you have money does not mean be more reckless. When you wonder how Time Warner could pay billions for AOL or Verizon for Yahoo or any number of idiotic moves it was thinking like this that led to those now obviously stupid moves. What is Apple “risking” by taking a thought out methodical approach? That they are going to “miss” the next big “thing”? I am amazed how so many folks say companies need to “play the long game” for long term profitability but clearly very few understand how that game is played. Watch folks, its being played right in front of you…

  2. All those so-called media companies have been sold and resold multiple times, they don’t make Apple money (profit) and they never will, where is my 27”-30” M1X-M2 iMac that is where the big profits are.

  3. No no no, hell no. We’ve all got home theatres with Dolby atmos surround. If I have to pay a little extra $30 for one show I can stream many times over for my family, avoid crowds, avoid COVID, and save money (tickets for a family of 6 is expensive) why on earth would I ever visit a theatre again?? No Apple, your Apple+ streaming strategy is spot on!

  4. Wow, this “expert” doesn’t get it. Movie theaters are the past, like drive-in movies (very popular once upon a time). It cost about 3x more to see a movie at a theater compared to monthly fee for tv+. My viewing habits have changed too; I no longer want to sit for 2 hours in an often uncomfortable seat to watch a movie (plus all the trailers) in one shot. I want to pause at my convenience, and rewind if desired. I don’t want to be overcharged for snacks. Plus psychological effects of pandemic will linger for many years. In that time, watching at home will become even more convenient and enjoyable.

    Also, Apple is not Netflix. tv+ exists to be a service and benefit for Apple’s hardware customers. It does create revenue and will eventually be profitable. But Apple’s bottom line is selling its hardware products. That’s why tv+ costs only $4.99/month. Apple can break even (even lose money short term) on the service as long as tv+ (and Apple’s many other value-added services) helps retain loyal hardware customers and attract new ones. Netflix must charge more because the service IS the purpose of its business.

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