Quibi & Neeva seen as potential takeover targets for Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion
As the pandemic batters small businesses and startups, Apple may already be looking for new companies to add to its talent pool.




With the coronavirus pandemic continuing, many small companies and startups may soon be ready to sell off their companies to the highest bidder. We can expect to see companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon acquiring companies who have been hit particularly hard by the turbulent economic situation surrounding the pandemic.

Acquisitions are hardly new to Apple, as the company is known for buying promising startups to recruit for new projects. DarkSky, a popular weather app, was purchased by Apple in March of this year. Fleetsmith, an enterprise device management company, was acquired in June.

It's difficult to tell what companies Apple is scouting, with most companies not announcing anything until the contracts are finalized. However, there is a wealth of small companies with big talent who may be willing to sell at the right price.

The Information's Amir Efrati sees Neeva, a subscription-based web search service, as a potential acquisition for Apple or another tech giant like Microsoft.

The CEO, Sridhar Ramaswamy, had spent 15 years at Google developing search advertising technologies. He hoped to create a search engine that could provide people with accurate results and didn't give preferential treatment to advertisers.

While the concept of a pay-to-use search engine may not be a concept everyone can back, the company is staffed by nearly a dozen former Google software engineers. By purchasing Neeva, Apple would have access to a wealth of talent for their own projects.

It isn't clear at present why Apple would do this. Google pays Apple billions of dollars per year for the privilege of being the default search engine for iPhone and iPad users.

Neeva isn't the only potential acquisition that The Information thinks Apple could make. Tom Dotan highlights Quibi, the short-format video streaming service launched in April, as a company Apple may be interested in.

Quibi is a mobile-oriented streaming video service offering short-form content to users in a bid to differentiate itself within a highly-crowded marketplace. Unfortunately, the service hasn't had the best retention rates. Last week, the company's three-month free trial period expired, and only 8% of subscribers chose to keep their subscription.

Quibi's founder, Jeffery Katzenberg, may try to cut his losses and sell the company. The Information is quick to point out that Katzenberg has a history with Apple -- he used to work at DreamWorks where he frequently met with Eddy Cue.

Of course, the short form service lends itself to other buyers as well. Snap Inc, the makers of Snapchat, may find Quibi's younger audience in line with that of their own.

It is unknown whether Apple will purchase either of these companies, though the company could see a return on their investment if the price was right. Both Neeva and Quibi have a wealth of talent working in their ranks, and Apple may be looking to bolster its own.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    If I was in a position to influence the purchase of businesses by Apple, I'd immediately mark any that are touted in articles like this as 'do not touch'. To me, these businesses are looking to sell themselves. That affects the price. This is also why Apple never says a word until the deal is done.
    cornchipchasmentropys
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 921member
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…
    cornchiplkruppgregoriusmstompyrazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 828member
    Oh Quibi, I really wanted to like you.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    XedXed Posts: 1,027member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…
    Beats has generated Apple massive profits. It was a great deal for Apple. I see no such benefit from buying Quibi.
    gregoriusmchasmRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    addicted44addicted44 Posts: 826member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…

    I think this is massively overstating the importance of Beats for Apple.

    1) As you point out, the execs bailed. This didn't bring much to Apple.
    2) The headphones also didnt do anything for Apple. It provided Apple with a few millions of dollars of profits. Nothing worth the billion or so they paid for it. Nor was Beats particularly known for their engineering. In fact their headphones were well known to have poor sound with the bass turned right up. The brand has been decimated by the Apple developed Apple line of earphones, and the Beats brand itself carries very little cache.
    3) Beats music was not the precursor to Apple music. In fact, Apple had to negotiate completely different deals. The technology was also completely different (in fact, Beats itself acquired its tech for 5-10 million).

    It's hard to see what value Beats provided Apple.

    And Quibi will only be worse.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    XedXed Posts: 1,027member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…

    I think this is massively overstating the importance of Beats for Apple.

    1) As you point out, the execs bailed. This didn't bring much to Apple.
    2) The headphones also didnt do anything for Apple. It provided Apple with a few millions of dollars of profits. Nothing worth the billion or so they paid for it. Nor was Beats particularly known for their engineering. In fact their headphones were well known to have poor sound with the bass turned right up. The brand has been decimated by the Apple developed Apple line of earphones, and the Beats brand itself carries very little cache.
    3) Beats music was not the precursor to Apple music. In fact, Apple had to negotiate completely different deals. The technology was also completely different (in fact, Beats itself acquired its tech for 5-10 million).

    It's hard to see what value Beats provided Apple.

    And Quibi will only be worse.
    Only a few million dollars from Beats headphones? Come on, man, you can’t really believe that.
    mwhiteBeatsgregoriusmtmay
  • Reply 7 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    I love how this article makes it sound like Katzenberg was just some "employee" [sic] of DreamWorks who would chat with Eddy Cue on occasion.

    Jeffrey Katzenberg is a bonafide Hollywood movie mogul.

    He was the chairman of Disney between 1984 and 1994 at which point he co-founded DreamWorks SKG with the other two namesakes: Steven Spielberg and David Geffen (of Geffen Records, the music industry mogul). His estimated net worth is a little shy of $1 billion. Katzenberg's protegé at Disney was Michael Eisner who succeeded Katzenberg in the role of Disney chairman. Katzenberg's focus was animated features and he pushed DreamWorks Animation to be an all-digital house.

    For twenty years, Katzenberg was the executive producer of many of Hollywood's biggest animated features. G-rated animated features dominate the box office revenue charts and typically haul in big bucks in merchandise. Which do you think sold better? The Forrest Gump lunch box or the Little Mermaid lunch box?

    He might be the guy with the Rolodex but it's a pretty good Rolodex. Katzenberg is definitely on the Hollywood A-list. He hasn't played second fiddle to anyone for over 35 years.
    edited July 2020 gregoriusmDogpersonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 22
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    I'd bet money on Apple acquiring Quibi:


    pujones1
  • Reply 9 of 22
    mpantone said:
    I love how this article makes it sound like Katzenberg was just some "employee" [sic] of DreamWorks who would chat with Eddy Cue on occasion.

    Jeffrey Katzenberg is a bonafide Hollywood movie mogul.

    He was the chairman of Disney between 1984 and 1994 at which point he co-founded DreamWorks SKG with the other two namesakes: Steven Spielberg and David Geffen (of Geffen Records, the music industry mogul). His estimated net worth is a little shy of $1 billion. Katzenberg's protegé at Disney was Michael Eisner who succeeded Katzenberg in the role of Disney chairman. Katzenberg's focus was animated features and he pushed DreamWorks Animation to be an all-digital house.

    For twenty years, Katzenberg was the executive producer of many of Hollywood's biggest animated features. G-rated animated features dominate the box office revenue charts and typically haul in big bucks in merchandise. Which do you think sold better? The Forrest Gump lunch box or the Little Mermaid lunch box?

    He might be the guy with the Rolodex but it's a pretty good Rolodex. Katzenberg is definitely on the Hollywood A-list. He hasn't played second fiddle to anyone for over 35 years.
    I agree with all of this, except Katzenberg reported to Eisner, not the other way around, and he was never chairman at Disney. IIRC, he was pushing for a promotion at Disney and not getting it was part of the reason he left and then started DreamWorks. 
  • Reply 10 of 22
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    1) As you point out, the execs bailed. This didn't bring much to Apple.
    2) The headphones also didnt do anything for Apple. It provided Apple with a few millions of dollars of profits. Nothing worth the billion or so they paid for it. Nor was Beats particularly known for their engineering. In fact their headphones were well known to have poor sound with the bass turned right up. The brand has been decimated by the Apple developed Apple line of earphones, and the Beats brand itself carries very little cache.
    3) Beats music was not the precursor to Apple music. In fact, Apple had to negotiate completely different deals. The technology was also completely different (in fact, Beats itself acquired its tech for 5-10 million).

    It's hard to see what value Beats provided Apple.
    If you can’t be bothered to do even basic research before posting about something you obviously know nothing about, you will come off looking foolish every time.

    1. The Beats execs built the Services platform, anchored by Apple Music, before they “bailed” several years later. That’s the fastest-growing segment of Apple’s business.
    2. Not only did Apple pay more three times what you guessed it did for Beats, it made every penny of that back in less than a year. Beats is still far and away the market leader in over-ear (and Bluetooth) headphones, and they aren’t cheap. The Beats acquisition has easily made Apple 10x what they paid for it at this point, and it is nearly pure profit. This was, until the Apple Watch came along, the anchor of Apple’s second-fastest-growing segment: Wearables.
    3. Your third point is just wholly incorrect, except that Apple did indeed have to renegotiate the royalties agreement (and in fact got a better deal WITH higher rights-holder royalties as a result). But the technology of Beats Music was in fact the core of Apple Music.
    fastasleepleavingthebiggDogpersonGG1Rayz2016pujones1
  • Reply 11 of 22
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,105member
    Xed said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…

    I think this is massively overstating the importance of Beats for Apple.

    1) As you point out, the execs bailed. This didn't bring much to Apple.
    2) The headphones also didnt do anything for Apple. It provided Apple with a few millions of dollars of profits. Nothing worth the billion or so they paid for it. Nor was Beats particularly known for their engineering. In fact their headphones were well known to have poor sound with the bass turned right up. The brand has been decimated by the Apple developed Apple line of earphones, and the Beats brand itself carries very little cache.
    3) Beats music was not the precursor to Apple music. In fact, Apple had to negotiate completely different deals. The technology was also completely different (in fact, Beats itself acquired its tech for 5-10 million).

    It's hard to see what value Beats provided Apple.

    And Quibi will only be worse.
    Only a few million dollars from Beats headphones? Come on, man, you can’t really believe that.
    I am sure Apple has made a profit from the Beats acquisition. 
    But that isn’t the point, and I wouldn’t dismiss Eric’s thoughts out of hand. Did Apple really, really need to outlay $3 billion to buy Beats to make those profits? 
    If Apple wanted to make a billion dollars out of headphones, it was not necessary to buy Beats. Are you saying that Apple, Apple of all companies, was unable to make a better set of cans that Beats? (Tip, Beats/Apple headphones are now way better than they were prior to acquisition, and the step up to the next level will be complete with the next version of the studio headphones, if rumours are true).

    I am not even sure beats music was a good acquisition, the interface of Apple Music even to this day is a bit of a mess and its ability to find new music often problematic (trust me, no matter how much Apple Music thinks, I am not interested in Hip Hop). I struggle to think Apple could not have built a better services platform in house for less without needing the  Beats Music backbone. They were/are still Next people in Apple.

    Apple was buying the cachet of the executives. For $3 Billion. Because Dr Dre is way, way cooler than Tim Cook and Eddie Cue, certainly than they think of themselves, nerds that they are. It didn’t matter because Apple is so rich $3B is nothing, but they could have done it in house, and I doubt it would have cost $3B. 
    The other benefit of course is it took a competitor out of the nascent subscription services market.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 12 of 22
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…

    I think this is massively overstating the importance of Beats for Apple.

    1) As you point out, the execs bailed. This didn't bring much to Apple.
    2) The headphones also didnt do anything for Apple. It provided Apple with a few millions of dollars of profits. Nothing worth the billion or so they paid for it. Nor was Beats particularly known for their engineering. In fact their headphones were well known to have poor sound with the bass turned right up. The brand has been decimated by the Apple developed Apple line of earphones, and the Beats brand itself carries very little cache.
    3) Beats music was not the precursor to Apple music. In fact, Apple had to negotiate completely different deals. The technology was also completely different (in fact, Beats itself acquired its tech for 5-10 million).

    It's hard to see what value Beats provided Apple.

    And Quibi will only be worse.
    Buying the biggest headphone brand in the world didn't do anything for Apple?!

    Besides the fact it made Apple Stores more appealing and gave them a cleaner look, Beats makes a bout 1 billion a year in profit. The headphones paid for the acquisition in about 4 years.
    fastasleepRayz2016
  • Reply 13 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,609member
    mpantone said:
    I love how this article makes it sound like Katzenberg was just some "employee" [sic] of DreamWorks who would chat with Eddy Cue on occasion.

    Jeffrey Katzenberg is a bonafide Hollywood movie mogul.

    He was the chairman of Disney between 1984 and 1994 at which point he co-founded DreamWorks SKG with the other two namesakes: Steven Spielberg and David Geffen (of Geffen Records, the music industry mogul). His estimated net worth is a little shy of $1 billion. Katzenberg's protegé at Disney was Michael Eisner who succeeded Katzenberg in the role of Disney chairman. Katzenberg's focus was animated features and he pushed DreamWorks Animation to be an all-digital house.

    For twenty years, Katzenberg was the executive producer of many of Hollywood's biggest animated features. G-rated animated features dominate the box office revenue charts and typically haul in big bucks in merchandise. Which do you think sold better? The Forrest Gump lunch box or the Little Mermaid lunch box?

    He might be the guy with the Rolodex but it's a pretty good Rolodex. Katzenberg is definitely on the Hollywood A-list. He hasn't played second fiddle to anyone for over 35 years.
    I agree with all of this, except Katzenberg reported to Eisner, not the other way around, and he was never chairman at Disney. IIRC, he was pushing for a promotion at Disney and not getting it was part of the reason he left and then started DreamWorks. 
    You are absolutely right. My memory failed me trying to think about something that happened in the mid-Nineties. Eisner was the top dog.

    Katzenberg was third in command at Disney and worked under Eisner. Kaztenberg really wanted to be the number 2 guy but Frank Wells was firmly entrenched there until the latter's untimely death in a helicopter accident. Katzenberg did not receive a promotion (Wells' position was left unfilled) so Katzenberg quit Disney to start DreamWorks SKG with Spielberg and Geffen.

    It was still a pretty gutsy move as Katzenberg was just 44 years old in 1994.
    Dogperson
  • Reply 14 of 22
    red oakred oak Posts: 886member
    Quibi Is an absolute failure.  There is no way Apple is going to by that  POS 

    Let the VCs and the overpriced executive team reap what they brought to market 
    fastasleepmark fearingJaphey
  • Reply 15 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,689member
    entropys said:
    Xed said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    An acquisition of Quibi would be most similar to the Beats by Dre deal. That bought…
    • a few powerful music industry execs, some of whom have already bailed
    • a headphone market whose cultural cachet is already sunsetting
    • Beats Music — everyone overlooks this, but it was the whole point. Can you even imagine Apple Services without a streaming music platform? They didn't write that, they bought it.
    Quibi has literally nothing but the name Jeffrey Katzenberg. No tech, no audience, just a guy with a rolodex.

    Neeva though… there are a lot of parallels between Apple's reliance on Google Search and their old reliance on Google Maps. And Google Search is getting worse all the time. I dunno if Neeva has the talent Apple needs to bring web search in-house, but…

    I think this is massively overstating the importance of Beats for Apple.

    1) As you point out, the execs bailed. This didn't bring much to Apple.
    2) The headphones also didnt do anything for Apple. It provided Apple with a few millions of dollars of profits. Nothing worth the billion or so they paid for it. Nor was Beats particularly known for their engineering. In fact their headphones were well known to have poor sound with the bass turned right up. The brand has been decimated by the Apple developed Apple line of earphones, and the Beats brand itself carries very little cache.
    3) Beats music was not the precursor to Apple music. In fact, Apple had to negotiate completely different deals. The technology was also completely different (in fact, Beats itself acquired its tech for 5-10 million).

    It's hard to see what value Beats provided Apple.

    And Quibi will only be worse.
    Only a few million dollars from Beats headphones? Come on, man, you can’t really believe that.
    I am sure Apple has made a profit from the Beats acquisition. 
    But that isn’t the point, and I wouldn’t dismiss Eric’s thoughts out of hand. Did Apple really, really need to outlay $3 billion to buy Beats to make those profits? 
    If Apple wanted to make a billion dollars out of headphones, it was not necessary to buy Beats. Are you saying that Apple, Apple of all companies, was unable to make a better set of cans that Beats? (Tip, Beats/Apple headphones are now way better than they were prior to acquisition, and the step up to the next level will be complete with the next version of the studio headphones, if rumours are true).

    I am not even sure beats music was a good acquisition, the interface of Apple Music even to this day is a bit of a mess and its ability to find new music often problematic (trust me, no matter how much Apple Music thinks, I am not interested in Hip Hop). I struggle to think Apple could not have built a better services platform in house for less without needing the  Beats Music backbone. They were/are still Next people in Apple.

    Apple was buying the cachet of the executives. For $3 Billion. Because Dr Dre is way, way cooler than Tim Cook and Eddie Cue, certainly than they think of themselves, nerds that they are. It didn’t matter because Apple is so rich $3B is nothing, but they could have done it in house, and I doubt it would have cost $3B. 
    The other benefit of course is it took a competitor out of the nascent subscription services market.
    ...and removed a very profitable competitor in the headphones business. You almost made that connection and somehow failed to do so.

    These kinds of takes are hilarious. By all measures it was an extremely successful acquisition.
    Xed
  • Reply 16 of 22
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,689member
    Quibi is a complete disaster, driven by completely incorrect assumptions about the market made by Katzenberg himself. Even if he has been historically successful, this is not that. Also, the CEO is Meg Whitman, who in an interview even stated she's not really a "connoisseur of entertainment", whatever that means.  What could possibly come from acquiring it? They have nothing to offer Apple. It's a steaming pile of failure.
    edited July 2020 mark fearingstompy
  • Reply 17 of 22
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,476member
  • Reply 18 of 22
    No...do not by failing companies...
  • Reply 19 of 22
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,525member
    red oak said:
    Quibi Is an absolute failure.  There is no way Apple is going to by that  POS 

    Let the VCs and the overpriced executive team reap what they brought to market 

    I don't see Apple buying the service but possibly all the content to add to TV+.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    0ID0ID Posts: 1member
    I think Apple and their customers needs a privacy friendly search engine.

    And now drums.... for Google trolls!
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