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Apple is Getting into Business with Hollywood. Is That a Good Idea?

Tim Cook

Apple is finally getting into business with Hollywood.  And it’s about time, right?  This is not a surprise for some, since Apple hired two top executives from Sony TV back in June.  But what might be surprising is the way that Apple is going about this.  What do I mean?  Well, unlike Disney, they aren’t interested in getting into the streaming business.  Or at least that’s what they’re saying right now.  They are interested, however, in making movies and TV shows.  And they’re throwing a pile of money at it.  $1 billion, to be exact.  But, according to some, that’s not even going to pay the bills.

Apple wants to make 10 shows that would rival Game of Thrones or House of Cards.  Epic series that everyone wants to watch.  To put this into perspective, HBO spent about $2 billion last year on content alone.  Whereas Netflix spends about $6 billion a year.  So it doesn’t seem reasonable that Apple would get very far with just $1 billion.  That being said, maybe Apple just wants to get their feet wet.  After all, they’re still going to want to play nice with the likes of Netflix.  Because they want people to stream shows on their iPads and iPhones.

apple hollywood sign

Other reports are suggesting that Apple only wants to do a couple of heavy hitter type shows.  Not the full 10.  But this is bigger than the money.  This is about Apple breaking into Hollywood.  We have seen Apple dip it’s toe into these kinds of businesses, but never full bore like this.  So it makes you wonder if this will even be a success.  And, what impact this will have as now Amazon, HBO and Netflix are all Apple’s competitors.  Instead of  potential partners.

But do you think this is a good idea?  Or should Apple stick with what it knows best?  That’s not a slam against Apple.  They make a good product.  But can they compete with the likes of HBO or Netflix?  I think if anyone can do it, it’s Apple.  But I worry that this will end up in a Disney/Netflix type situation.  With Apple creating it’s own streaming service as well after a couple of years in the content game.  And maybe that’s not a bad thing.  But it also makes you wonder how many streaming services the market can handle?  You can already rent movies through iTunes, so is this a logical next step?

It is also reported that Apple has hired the former president of WGN to act as the “chief lieutenant” to the two new executives that came over from Sony TV.  Which sends the message that Apple is serious about getting into Hollywood.  Obviously, people at Apple know more than I do about where this is going.  But it just seems like it’s not really well thought out. Or maybe they don’t know and are really focusing on the content right now.  I’m not ragging on Apple, at all.  I am extremely interested to see where this will go, but I’m hesitant to give it my usual thumbs up.