Apple Eyes Original Content, But Looks to Avoid Expensive Bidding Wars With Netflix and Amazon

Apple has shown a willingness to buy projects that can help promote its services, but its interest in acquiring original content remains tepid, according to The Information. The report claims Apple is not interested in getting into billion-dollar bidding wars over projects with rivals such as Netflix and Amazon.

Apple bought an unscripted TV series based on James Corden's highly popular "Carpool Karaoke" segment to promote Apple Music, for example, while it is also planning an original TV series called Vital Signs, described as a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Beats co-founder and Apple executive Dr. Dre.

Meanwhile, Apple reportedly met with representatives for comedian Chris Rock earlier this year about a potential video deal, although the discussions did not lead anywhere and Rock ultimately signed a reported $40 million deal with Netflix to deliver two stand-up specials airing in 2017.

Apple's lack of original content is seen as a disadvantage for the company, potentially hurting its efforts to expand the Apple TV's market share.

Not having a slate of originals hurts Apple’s ability to differentiate its video-streaming offerings against rivals like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, each of which now make their own shows that get them lots of attention, while also licensing reruns from TV networks. That could stymie Apple’s ability to increase market share for its streaming video device, the Apple TV, and lock more people into the Apple ecosystem.

Apple has sent mixed signals to Hollywood about its interest in original programming over the past few years, the report adds.

Apple has reportedly met with TV producers and Hollywood studios about developing original TV shows to offer exclusively on iTunes, but services chief Eddy Cue later said Apple is "not in the business of trying to create TV shows." Instead, he said Apple is willing to offer producers suggestions and guidance where possible.

Independent of its original content efforts, Apple has reportedly been getting more aggressive at landing movies for iTunes. The company was reportedly in discussions with the producers of the Michael Moore documentary "TrumpLand" very early in the process, for example, to secure an iTunes exclusivity window.

Apple got the right to offer “TrumpLand” on iTunes earlier than other online video services, in exchange for prominently promoting it on the iTunes homepage, according to a person involved in the discussions. Having Apple’s promotional commitment is significant enough to help get a movie financed, this person said.

Key players in Apple's content discussions are said to be Jimmy Iovine, along with Apple Music executives Larry Jackson and Robert Kondrk.

Top Rated Comments

ILuvEggplant Avatar
68 months ago
apple please don't get into original content. no doubt you will censor the *&@@# out of it.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
68 months ago
"Looks to Avoid Expensive Bidding Wars With Netflix and Amazon"

The weird thing is... this is where "television" is going.

The future of video content is on-demand streaming... not traditional TV networks.

If Apple doesn't want to play ball with Netflix and Amazon... then I have little hope for Apple in this space.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Digital Skunk Avatar
68 months ago
THis is a bad idea. Just build computers and mobile devices Apple. Providing and streaming content will eat up those billions you've pocketed.

How about this: give us a solid upgrade to the iMac and Mac Pro, help LG make better looking displays, and improve your upgrade cycle on your hardware offerings.

That's not too much to ask for is it?

Oh and fix the little niggles that exist with iOS on the iPad Pro. You're so close to making it a solid laptop replacement.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Quu Avatar
68 months ago
Honestly with the mountain of money Apple has they should just start producing original TV Shows already.

And if they make the shows in Ireland (like Game of Thrones is) they could spend some of that offshore money and avoid spending US made profits on it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chasemac Avatar
68 months ago
This article reminds me of this scene.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UltimateSyn Avatar
68 months ago
They are trying to do too much.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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