Tim Cook being 'intrusive' to Hollywood in quest for family-friendly video fare

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 4
Apple's efforts to produce original video content is reportedly being monitored a bit too closely by the company, with comments from executives including CEO Tim Cook said to be causing friction with producers working on shows and films.




The iPhone maker's attempt to join the streaming video market by investing heavily in video production, potentially being revealed later this month, has led to many studios and production companies receiving work on a variety of different projects. However, Apple's tendency to closely manage what is being produced is thought to be irritating producers used to more creative freedom.

Unidentified producers and agents speaking to the New York Post claim Apple is "difficult" to work with, due to a "lack of transparency," "lack of clarity," and the "intrusive" nature of the executive team. One person advised the Apple executives have been "very involved" in the process, noting that writers and directors would rather work without such intrusions.

"Tim Cook is giving notes and getting involved," another producer advised, with others also complaining about the company's issuing of "notes." It is claimed one of Cook's most-often criticism in the notes is "don't be so mean!" possibly in reference to Apple's preference towards family-friendly programming.

As well as the tone of content, Cook is also keen on pro-technology storylines, with proposals about potentially controversial items and the negative consequences of technology being nixed regularly. "They want a positive view of technology," advised one source.

The unknown timing of when the project will launch is also a problem, with a video executive admitting "I think people are a little bit irritated because they keep moving the service launch."

Video executives are also being irked by repeatedly being summoned to Apple's headquarters for approval on technology changes, which pulls them away from working on the shows and films.

"They are making big changes, firing and hiring new writers. There's a lack of clarity on what they want," one producer sums up the experience. "A lot of the product is not as good as they hoped it to be."

While Apple is believed to publicly announce its video project's intentions, which is likely to be a Netflix-style video streaming service of some form, it isn't entirely clear how it will be offered to consumers. There are rumors Apple's own productions will be offered free to anyone with access to the TV app, with Apple profiting by selling access to third-party subscriptions.

The actual launch of the service may not even occur in March, with one report suggesting it could happen in April, though there is also speculation it may not even be ready for the summer, pushing it into the fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    Not liking this direction.






    allmypeoplebluefire1krreagan2ravnorodombigpicsSpamSandwichAppleExposedanantksundaram
  • Reply 2 of 47
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    Man this sounds like a disaster.
    allmypeopletrashman69ravnorodombigpicsanantksundaramflyingdp
  • Reply 3 of 47
    Called this years ago. I could only see success if they went with kids programming and docu series. The moment you get into adult dramas of any kind, this was going to be an issue... many of the most popular dramas aren’t overly PC. In fact, most people are sick of PC culture and there’s a lot of polling data to back that up from places like Pew.
    80s_Apple_Guy
  • Reply 4 of 47
    The Apple way works only in so many places. Outside of that it becomes a hindrance to growth and development. We'll see if they're smart enough to learn that before it becomes a mess they can't clean up and they lose the very thing they're trying to achieve. High quality programming. 
    ravnorodomallmypeople1983
  • Reply 5 of 47
    red oakred oak Posts: 678member
    With all the big opportunities to pursue and weaknesses to correct,  tell me Tim Cook is not spending hours of his valuable time reviewing scripts and critiquing video edits 
    80s_Apple_GuyravnorodomallmypeopleAppleExposedanantksundaramlolliver
  • Reply 6 of 47
    jay3000jay3000 Posts: 19member
    This is actually very discouraging, I don't want to pay for "family friendly" original content. If this is the route all the shows will take I find it really hard to believe I will subscribe to whatever service they come with. The only way would be if its bundled with other things I would use. I love apple and most things it does, but I will admit this sounds like a disaster in the making if they are trying to get in the way of the directors/producers.
    ravnorodomallmypeopleanantksundaramminicoffee
  • Reply 7 of 47
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,211member
    I say it is Apple's money so they call the shots.

    However, if they didn't make things crystal clear on what they were going to consider acceptable and on exactly what they wanted from the very beginning, there is no point trying to change things on the go.

    They will have to learn to be clearer and learn from their mistakes if this rumour is true.

    I hope they resist the temptation to go overboard on the product placements.
    edited March 4
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Apple should not be in the content creation space. It’s not their forte, it’s not their brand and they aren’t cut out for the loose messiness required. Micromanaging content guarantees awful, anodyne output. They should stick to licensing and curating. 
    mike54allmypeoplebigpicsAppleExposedanantksundaramuraharan2itivguy
  • Reply 9 of 47
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,162member
    Since Apple is footing the bill they absolutely get to decide what they get based on what they like and are willing to pay for. Does this mean that Apple's customers will get what they like? Maybe, maybe not.

    The biggest risk is on Apple's shoulders, but there is also some potential backlash for producers of any material that is construed by customers to be substandard, so I understand their perspective. Part of the problem here is that, within the confines of the Sacred Apple Ring, Tim and his deputies get total control over everything, starting with creative decisions and ending with all things execution related. Ceding creative control to outsiders is a new way of doing business for Apple.

    Apple is new at this and they will need to learn when to let others do what they do best and when to try to influence others in ways that reflect Apple's core values. It's all about balance and it will take a few rounds of successes and failures to figure out what works and what doesn't. Everyone wants to be a content creator because that's where the money is. Being the best at designing and delivering some of the world's most compelling consumer products doesn't mean you're the best at creating and delivering compelling entertainment content. A fat wallet and big head doesn't make one more creative. 

    edited March 4
  • Reply 10 of 47
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 266member
    Apple should really stay out of content production and focus on core products. Just like they used to have a policy of not competing with their software developers and stay neutral, they need to do the same with content if they want to ensure a richest possible catalog available to their customers.
    80s_Apple_Guymike54allmypeopleanantksundaramuraharan2itivguyminicoffee
  • Reply 11 of 47
    red oakred oak Posts: 678member
    “He’s giving feedback,” an agent said of Cook, adding that the CEO has been seen on the Vancouver set for “See,” GMAFB
    allmypeople
  • Reply 12 of 47
    Dave KapDave Kap Posts: 42member
    Once again, sources said.. one person... one producer... or... the actual launch may not occur...

    I sure wish AppleInsider would stop running these ‘someone said” stories... or at least start them out with: the following article is not based on fact - just rumors or innuendo so people know what they are reading.

    Added: If these “producers” or people don’t like working with Apple then they should quit.  
    edited March 4 randominternetpersonAppleExposed
  • Reply 13 of 47
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    I have a family friend that is a producer and funny enough, I asked him the other day about Apple's new content soon to be revealed. He said almost exactly the same thing. Apple is too involved in the creative process and forcing everything family friendly. 

    I would say this is the problem Apple is having in general post Steve Jobs - playing it safe - afraid to take chances. Instead of being innovators, they are not reacting to things.
    mike54
  • Reply 14 of 47
    foljsfoljs Posts: 348member
    They have to place the puritan American public of both the right (bible belt) and left (sjw) sides...
  • Reply 15 of 47
    foljsfoljs Posts: 348member
    Dave Kap said:
    Once again, sources said.. one person... one producer... or... the actual launch may not occur...

    I sure wish AppleInsider would stop running these ‘someone said” stories... or at least start them out with: the following article is not based on fact - just rumors or innuendo so people know what they are reading.

    Added: If these “producers” or people don’t like working with Apple then they should quit.  


    You must be new here. Appleinsider started and more or less remains an Apple rumors site. What do you think "Appleinsider" even means? It's because the site supposedly had "insider" sources, or good access to inside Apple info. Once it's a verified story you can read it in all kinds of media, even prime time TV news. We come here to read upcoming stuff, and Apple is not open about them most of the time...
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 16 of 47
    LOL...this type of stuff goes on all the time in Hollywood, i.e., complaints about executives meddling in creative decisions and people being unhappy with scripts or directors or show runners etc. It's par for the course even in companies with multiple decades of participation in the industry.
    eliangonzalrandominternetpersonfastasleep
  • Reply 17 of 47
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    Apple should not be in the content creation space. It’s not their forte, it’s not their brand and they aren’t cut out for the loose messiness required. Micromanaging content guarantees awful, anodyne output. They should stick to licensing and curating. 
    Agreed. And no one can offer a good reason why Apple should be in this space other than a) they have more money than they know what to do with and b) they need to monetize users to grow revenue because hardware sales are slowing. That’s just working backwards from the financials to a product. It’s not how good products should be developed.
    mike54canukstorm
  • Reply 18 of 47
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    techno said:
    I have a family friend that is a producer and funny enough, I asked him the other day about Apple's new content soon to be revealed. He said almost exactly the same thing. Apple is too involved in the creative process and forcing everything family friendly. 

    I would say this is the problem Apple is having in general post Steve Jobs - playing it safe - afraid to take chances. Instead of being innovators, they are not reacting to things.
    For me the problem isn’t family friendly content. Good TV doesn’t have to be all about sex, violence and crude language. The problem is neither Tim Cook nor Eddy Cue know anything about creating original TV content. And it sounds like the company wasn’t clear up front about the direction they wanted this stuff to go. Now If they get backlash and people not wanting to work with them it’s possible they’ll panic and go overboard the other way and at the end of the day they’ll still not have compelling TV shows that people want to pay for,
    mike54ravnorodombeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 19 of 47
    rogifan_new said: And no one can offer a good reason why Apple should be in this space other than a) they have more money than they know what to do with and b) they need to monetize users to grow revenue because hardware sales are slowing.
    The "good reason" is fairly obvious: Apple has been directly involved in digital entertainment distribution for a long time with iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Music. Providing 1st party content in combination with that is not that unusual, and perhaps even expected these days. Nobody thinks it's strange that companies who manufacture video game hardware are also in the business of funding 1st party video games. This is just an extension of that same idea with movies and TV.  Apple sells all kinds of hardware that people use to consume movie and TV content.
    edited March 4 AppleExposedfastasleep
  • Reply 20 of 47
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 909member
    If Tim is a big believer in diversity, then that should also be reflected in the movies being produced so that family fare doesn’t  become a mandate.
    edited March 4 1983
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