TV columnist speculates Apple is plotting a major media industry acquisition

The speculation about Apple’s original content plan continues this week. After a report last week suggested that Apple might price its subscription service below Netflix, The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman now writes that Apple has to be looking to acquire an existing media company if it wants to succeed… 

Goodman writes in his column that Apple can’t operate under the assumption that people will pay “somewhere in the vicinity of $9.99” for a package that contains a dozen or so shows:

Apple can’t really think that its legion of brand-loyal customers will also pay somewhere in the vicinity of $9.99 a month for a dozen or so series that might not be all that great, might be a mixed bag creatively or, if you want to be insanely optimistic, even if all 13 are brilliant. Apple can’t think people will do that, can it?

He then points to Apple’s deal for the format to the French series Calls, which also includes the original French version. This, according to Goodman, suggests that Apple will acquire and built out an existing streaming service. Why else would it acquire a single French language show?

That’s immediate catalog material. Which implies an Apple consumer can sign on to whatever streaming service Apple has and browse … for other series. Do you think that Apple is just going to leave it at 13 originals and the French language version of Calls?

No. Apple is going to build out. Apple is going to acquire.

It’s this expansion into international content, as well as the highly competitive kids market, that Goodman thinks indicates it’s only a matter of time before Apple acquires an existing streaming service or media company:

Whereas a few months ago there was still some real worry that Apple was, in fact, going to rely on its reputation to lure customers to its streaming service — it’s Apple and I buy everything Apple — that level of tech cockiness has thankfully given way in this month of June to a more reasonable assumption that, based on Apple’s foray into kids and international, it has signaled an understanding that more is better.

This isn’t the first time it has been suggested that Apple buy an existing television/media company. It was reported that Apple had approached Time Warner about a potential acquisition, but it was of course beat out by AT&T.

Most recently, Eddy Cue addressed the possibility of Apple buying a company like Netflix or Disney, saying that Apple isn’t a company that historically makes large acquisitions because it wants to build something new.

Do you think Apple needs to acquire an existing media company to succeed? Let us know down in the comments.

Read Tim Goodman’s full write up right here.


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