Apple has entered the content business in the form of a new streaming service. Apple’s TV+ is the Cupertino’s answer to household name “Netflix”. No one can accuse the tech giant of being cheap. With an open check book, Tim Cook went to Hollywood to get the biggest names in show business. Spielberg, Oprah, Jennifer Anniston, J.J. Abrams to name a few were onstage introducing new shows.
Better late than never but there are many entrenched players. HBO/AT&T has a head-start while super content owner Disney has brand titles to insure a competitive advantage for its soon to be launched service. What type of content chances will the service take? Getting the attention of Millennial Apple users may prove difficult. These viewers tune into edgier programs by YouTubers. Let’s face facts, Apple is not the same tech juggernaut it was 3 years ago. Sales of iPhones have slowed. Currently, there are no buzz worthy products in the pipeline.
Money Does Not Always Buy The Best
The film business has been luring deep pockets investors with stars in their eyes for decades. Many came in with enthusiasm, many left humbled. Kennedy patriarch and father of a President, Joseph, at RKO Radio Pictures sold his interest in the always unstable studio in the early 1930’s. Insurance giant Transamerica became the parent company of United Artists only to sell after the “Heaven’s Gate” crash. Coca Cola’s tumultuous seven year ownership of Columbia Pictures resulted in “Ishtar”. Matsushita’s foray with Universal made a case study of corporate culture clashes leading up to the “Waterworld” nightmare. Apple’s advantage is its relationships to talent but it could take time to generate a program on the cultural level of “Game of Thrones”.
My concern, could Apple loose its creative edge to focus on a business segment that can be fickle. Merging, talent, software, and hardware is not an easy feat. Sony has been trying for 30 years with little to show.
Success in a crowded field will be built around the company’s $250 billion in the bank. This could be good or bad. Time will tell.