Apple’s move doesn’t appear to be the second coming of a CBS, ABC, Fox, or Netflix and Hulu. Not even close.
Technology/digital device companies are getting into the content business -- movies and TV have been the topic of discussion in media and entertainment circles for years. But few real results have come to fruition.
Now take a step back: Look at TV channel distribution. Apple has all but abandoned plans to become another digital/virtual provider of TV networks -- a next-gen cable operator. Comcast has no worries here.
For a long time, it seemed to make sense to have content, distribution and digital device manufacturing under one roof. Only Sony has delved into all three -- but with uneven results.
The move by Apple, mostly now a digital device manufacturer, should be viewed therefore in a narrow context. Apple sees its Apple Music -- a $10 a month service -- as ready to take on Spotify. The motive may be to sell even more new iPhones and iPads in future years.
Some of this started months ago, when Apple agreed to launch video-based music-oriented content, such as “Carpool Karaoke,” a popular segment on CBS’ “The Late, Late Show with James Corden.”
If you want to think more broadly for Apple -- if you dare -- when it comes to content production, perhaps only one new media distribution/technology company, which has successfully moved into the big leagues in recent years, comes to mind: Netflix.
Does Apple want to spend $6 billion in TV/movie development costs like Netflix will in 2017? And even then, it would need the right TV-movie development executives -- as well the strong stomach when it comes to notorious, unpredictable failure.
Apple has the bucks on hand to do battle -- some $216 billion in cash lying around, according to a number of estimates. But is this really their thing? Putting together a digital pay TV service of linear TV networks -- somewhat closer to their technology-centric business -- hasn’t worked as well.
So what’s left? Apple aficionados have one hope: Apple TV, its on-demand pay TV service, continues to score steady growth. But don’t think any farher ahead.