Apple CEO Tim Cook, SVP Eddy Cue attempted Imagine Entertainment buy -- report [u]

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited February 16
Apple could have bolstered its video content strategy significantly with an acquisition of a production company, a report claims, with discussions allegedly involving Apple CEO Tim Cook and SVP Eddy Cue said to have potentially led to a purchase of Imagine Entertainment.




The talks between Apple and the Hollywood production company, owned by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, were allegedly serious enough that they warranted the attention of the high-level Apple CEOs, according to several sources of the Financial Times "briefed on the discussions." It is unknown how long the negotiations had been going on for or why they broke down, with the report simply stating "the discussions fizzled out," but the talks are said to have taken place "recently."

The subject of the talks centered mostly around how Apple could use Imagine's content with its services, with the possibility of a "first look" distribution deal of Imagine movies and TV shows. A potential investment in the production studio was also raised, as well as an outright acquisition of the company.

The timing of the talks is apt, as Imagine recently ended a long-term production and distribution deal with Universal Pictures. A new production deal with Apple or another online service could have been a new direction for Imagine, which is known for the films "Apollo 13" and "The Da Vinci Code" as well as a stable of television shows, putting its content in front of audiences through new alternate distribution methods.

An acquisition of Imagine Entertainment would have given Apple a considerable boost to its original content strategy. The iPhone producer has recently shown off "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke", two shows it will be bringing to Apple Music subscribers soon, with previous comments expressing interest in "content creation and ownership" strongly suggesting more internally-produced content will follow.

Acquiring a major content producer, such as Imagine, is entirely possible for Apple to accomplish, with Cook previously suggesting a purchase is more to do with the "strategic value" than the size of the target. Apple is also a prolific buyer, purchasing between 15 and 20 companies per year for the last four years, and is unlikely to stop anytime soon.

Apple was also rumored to be interested in acquiring Time Warner, another major content producer, before AT&T's $80 billion deal last year, but it is thought the talks stayed only at a preliminary level.

Update: Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg later told Variety, "The story is not accurate and Imagine has no further comment."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,635member
    The talks between Apple and the Hollywood production company, owned by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, were allegedly serious enough that they warranted the attention of the high-level Apple CEOs
    Apple has more than one CEO????
    edited February 16 trashman69cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,598member
    Yup. Tim Cook and Sog35. 
    wonkothesanevolcanmacxpressmike1irelandcaligatorguylukeicornchipbrucemc
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Rayz2016 said:
    Yup. Tim Cook and Sog35. 
    HAHAHA good one :D
    edited February 16 irelandcalicornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,208member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Yup. Tim Cook and Sog35. 
    ok that was funny.

    One day you will find out that Sog35 is actually Tim Cook venting his frustrations anonymously 
    edited February 16 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,208member
    Good news IMO.

    I think its clear that getting content deals are hard with not impossible. You have to make your own content.
  • Reply 6 of 22

    I understand Apple's quest for original content but they already own some IP in an area that is begging for good/trustworthy content...Apple News should be on the AppleTV with real news. Investigative even as it grows. This is the gaping content hole that cable has. No good news outlet. They all seem to be shills for one of the political parties. Or incompetent. Or both.

    Perhaps an interesting idea for original programming on the Apple News Channel would be a daily update of all the Fake News out there coupled with some good host and co-host driven banter. While a lot of the Fake News out there is harmless, some can be quite damaging.

    A potential way to turn the Fake News industry on it's head would be to aggregate it all into a show and laugh at it a little.

    Get this to an original programming guru to get their take.

    cali
  • Reply 7 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,635member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Yup. Tim Cook and Sog35. 
    Bahahahaha!!! :smiley: 
    irelandwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    can somebody please explain why apple needs to bolster its "video content strategy" (or even have one)?? i understand it for netflix and amazon since that's their business, streaming content. but apple sells hardware used as a platform for the content. why does it also need to own the content, if the provider apps work on the iOS platform?
    edited February 16 mike1cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Just make an Apple tv that is state of the art and has a coherent state of the art interface and an ergonomic remote.. ... not the convoluted incoherent fragmented mess it is now. Then worry about content.. While u are at it... how about recognizing that music and movies are two different forms of entertainment ..... dont stick series and movies in Apple music... learn something from the Mess you created called ITunes !
    calicornchip
  • Reply 10 of 22
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,208member
    can somebody please explain why apple needs to bolster its "video content strategy" (or even have one)?? i understand it for netflix and amazon since that's their business, streaming content. but apple sells hardware used as a platform for the content. why does it also need to own the content, if the provider apps work on the iOS platform?
    just look what Amazon is doing to Apple.

    Amazon video does not work on the AppleTV.
    Look at what Google did to Apple with Google Maps.

    Apple needs content just as a defensive move
    calipatchythepiratelena
  • Reply 11 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 16,465member
    sog35 said:
    can somebody please explain why apple needs to bolster its "video content strategy" (or even have one)?? i understand it for netflix and amazon since that's their business, streaming content. but apple sells hardware used as a platform for the content. why does it also need to own the content, if the provider apps work on the iOS platform?
    Apple needs content just as a defensive move
    Understood, Mr. Wall St.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,598member
    We're going to see a lot of this. 

    The investment bankers are desperate to dip their hands into Apple's cash pile, so they're trying to sow the notion that Apple can't close an acquisition deal without them. (Ignoring the fact they closed 10 deals last year)
    quadra 610watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22

    I understand Apple's quest for original content but they already own some IP in an area that is begging for good/trustworthy content...Apple News should be on the AppleTV with real news. Investigative even as it grows. This is the gaping content hole that cable has. No good news outlet. They all seem to be shills for one of the political parties. Or incompetent. Or both.

    Perhaps an interesting idea for original programming on the Apple News Channel would be a daily update of all the Fake News out there coupled with some good host and co-host driven banter. While a lot of the Fake News out there is harmless, some can be quite damaging.

    A potential way to turn the Fake News industry on it's head would be to aggregate it all into a show and laugh at it a little.

    Get this to an original programming guru to get their take.

    Apple would never do it because they would't want to alienate potential customers, but even it they would do it, do you think Apple would support an objective news channel?  It's not likely given their political bias is so strong.  
    patchythepiratecornchip
  • Reply 14 of 22

    can somebody please explain why apple needs to bolster its "video content strategy" (or even have one)?? i understand it for netflix and amazon since that's their business, streaming content. but apple sells hardware used as a platform for the content. why does it also need to own the content, if the provider apps work on the iOS platform?

    First, Amazon's business is not streaming content.  Quite the contrary,  they use it as a "loss leader" to get folks to subscribe to Prime.  Amazon's business is building the world's largest distribution platforms and then charging others to use it, e.g, Amazon Web Services (cloud storage) and Amazon, which makes its real money on charging customers for the privilege of buying from this distribution platform (Prime memberships) and merchants who want to sell their products on vast distribution network of warehouses, web site, delivery service, etc.  This is why Amazon is losing hundreds of millions on the Echo, but they are willing to pay that price to extend their platform ever further into your home and lives.

    Secondly, music streaming has become largely a commoditized product, meaning it is widely available and interchangeable so consumers can get it from so many companies at pretty much the same price.  The only way to survive in this game, and this is why Spotify has ever growing losses, is either to cut your price or offer other differentiators.  Spotify has little to differentiate itself and why it's not far fetched to predict its collapse in the next two or three years. Amazon has lots to offer and can lose money to get subscribers.  Apple Music has had impressive growth, but to continue to grow and stave off Google and Amazon, Apple will keep expanding/differentiating Apple Music to attract subscribers to the point they will likely soon change it's name.  The primary way for Apple to "decommoditize" Apple Music in the near future is clearly video content
    edited February 16 quinneycornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Tim and Eddy need to go back to the table on this one.
    Ronnie Howard is money in the bank, even Andy knew that.
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    sog35 said:
    can somebody please explain why apple needs to bolster its "video content strategy" (or even have one)?? i understand it for netflix and amazon since that's their business, streaming content. but apple sells hardware used as a platform for the content. why does it also need to own the content, if the provider apps work on the iOS platform?
    just look what Amazon is doing to Apple.

    Amazon video does not work on the AppleTV.
    Look at what Google did to Apple with Google Maps.

    Apple needs content just as a defensive move
    Amazon content works on iphone and ipad, and beams to Apple TV. true it should have a native app, but i don't think they could afford to cut themselves off completely. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,208member
    sog35 said:
    can somebody please explain why apple needs to bolster its "video content strategy" (or even have one)?? i understand it for netflix and amazon since that's their business, streaming content. but apple sells hardware used as a platform for the content. why does it also need to own the content, if the provider apps work on the iOS platform?
    just look what Amazon is doing to Apple.

    Amazon video does not work on the AppleTV.
    Look at what Google did to Apple with Google Maps.

    Apple needs content just as a defensive move
    Amazon content works on iphone and ipad, and beams to Apple TV. true it should have a native app, but i don't think they could afford to cut themselves off completely. 
    Google didn't cut Apple off of Google Maps completely either. But they removed turn by turn directions on Google maps on iOS. That is why Apple made their own maps.

    Sure Amazon video works on iOS, but it does not have a native app on AppleTV. 

    Apple does not want to lose leverage against these providers again like they did with Google Maps. Apple was rushed to provide Apple Maps and it cost them big time. Getting content for AppleMusic is a great idea.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    sog35 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Yup. Tim Cook and Sog35. 
    ok that was funny.

    One day you will find out that Sog35 is actually Tim Cook venting his frustrations anonymously 
    I knew it!  I totally knew it!  Hey Tim, ah, I mean Sog, can I have a job?  I have some amazing ideas and some fragile idea fragments.
    irelandRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,479member
    Update: Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg later told Variety, "The story is not accurate and Imagine has no further comment."

    Does he mean it's not accurate that Apple tried to acquire them or that it's not accurate that the talks ended???????
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,598member
    quinney said:
    Update: Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg later told Variety, "The story is not accurate and Imagine has no further comment."

    Does he mean it's not accurate that Apple tried to acquire them or that it's not accurate that the talks ended???????
    Well spotted. 

    I think he means the whole story is yet another example of fake news.  I think part of the problem is that sites fail to give retractions the same prominence they give the original fake content. 

    Case in point: AI is running the same fake story, with the same fake headline, but with a tiny [u] after it. 

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