Apple is Starting to Take Being in Media Seriously

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple TV+

Reports emerged earlier this month that Apple had committed $6 billion to original content. The previous figure we had heard was $1 billion, so this is a serious increase from Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple TV+

Apple Investing in People as Well as Content

There are other things too. For instance, in April, Apple hired Danielle DePalma from Lionsgate as a senior executive on its video marketing team. DePalma had previously led marketing and social media campaigns for the Hunger Games.  A month later, Disney’s Chiara Cipriani joined as Director of Video Services in London. These are not people you convince to join you without offering a serious vision.

The ‘It’s Show Time’ event that revealed Apple TV+ was a glitzy affair. A lot of glamour, not a lot of detail. Now some trailers are appearing, and it seems Apple is creating serious, high-quality programming. We’ve not even seen what Oprah “a billion pockets, y’all” Winfrey is working on yet. Planet of the Apps this is not.

Some Caveats

While all this, as well as the reported increased investment, indicated Apple might just be starting to take its entry into the media world more seriously, let’s not get over excited. NBC’s Dylan Byers reported in his daily email newsletter on August 20 that the investment in content was significantly lower than $6 billion. Even if it is as much as $6 billion, the figure is still way behind Netflix. The streaming is expected to spend $15 billion on content this year.

As for the hires? They are impressive, but it is not too hard to imagine why media executives might be tempted to Apple. (Spoiler alert: Money.)

The truth is Apple is always going to find it hard to compete against the likes of Netflix, HBO, Disney on their home turf. If nothing else, those firms can offer a far wider range of programming from the get-go. However, developments over the last weeks and months show that Apple is at least going to give this highly competitive field its best shot.

3 thoughts on “Apple is Starting to Take Being in Media Seriously

  • Whatever you hear a movie cost to make, more than that again is spent on promotion to make it a success. Apple is dipping its toe into these waters, but has a long way to go to play Hollywood’s game. WELL SPOTTED. But as you noted, Originals were built on top of already viable Services with deep catalogues. There’s no precedent for what Apple is trying to do here (unless it has a catalogue it hasn’t revealed), and deep pockets might sustain it for a while, but building a profitable or potentially profitable business is another thing altogether. Even if it is hidden among other services in the bottom line calculations…

  • Pretty depressing. How long has it been since Apple made a feel-good product? 10 years?? Maybe less if you are a watch person? Now Apple has climbed the ladder to the bottom to become a credit card co.; a toy phone company and purveyor of commercial sludge aka “media”. It is no coincidence America has some of the dumbest kids and adults in the world that watch more mind numbing commercialized CRAP TV than any other people on earth. I guess Apple gave up on K-12 and beyond years ago to get kids hooked on -again- mind numbing toy phones and social “media”. Way to go Apple.

    1. All excellent points. (What’s the saying? Amusing ourselves to death?? I have no time to consume all that ‘entertainment’, but apparently a lot of potential customers do.) You could add partnering with Pharma to do BS like ‘detecting pre-dementia’. Partnering with health insurers over watch/health, which can only end badly. Credit cards may be an evil that Apple is trying to correct, that’s the Master Card side of it. Partnering with Goldman Sachs is dancing with the devil with the worst reputation of all (controlling US Treasury, bankrupting Greece & Italy for starters, and who knows what else). And my favourite… being welcomed into the military industrial complex with Boeing taking a seat on Apple’s Board. Some of these things seem to be deliberate choices, but the Boeing thing was probably inevitable, Apple being not only the largest company, but a formidable manufacturer. And like Jobs before him, Cook may be resisting as much as he can, without dying in an unfortunate car accident.
      Apple is not the hippy organisation it used to be – hence the hippy logo’s slow but triumphant return. They’re the zillion dollar hippys now – look, the logo proves it.

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