A new report out of The Information this evening outlines more details concerning Apple’s efforts when it moves to securing original content rights. The report, which reiterates some of what we already knew concerning Apple’s efforts, focuses on the company’s reserved and “quixotic” attitudes…
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
The report explains that Apple isn’t necessarily willing to commit itself to go all-in with original video. The company has reportedly told executives in the entertainment industry that it isn’t looking to accumulate a huge slate of original content like Amazon and Netflix have done. Amazon and Netflix are each spending several billion dollars a year on original content, while Apple’s spending is unknown and likely significantly less than that.
Spearheading Apple’s original video content efforts at this point are Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine, Larry Jackson, and Robert Kondrk. This is somewhat notable as it suggests that Apple doesn’t necessarily have a full team working on its video efforts at this point, though it is in the process of developing a reality series called Planet of the Apps that’s focused on the app economy.
Partially because of the involvement of Iovine, Jackson, and Kondrk, Apple at this point is said to be primarily focusing its video efforts on ideas that complement Apple Music, something Eddy Cue has suggested in the past.
In its negotiations with Hollywood, however, Apple has also been working to get movies to iTunes at a faster pace. In some instances, Apple secures exclusive rights to a movie before it even gets the green light from a studio. Often, Apple trades exclusive rights for top-tier promotion on the iTunes Store.
Apple has been getting more aggressive at landing movies for iTunes. In some cases, it is securing rights even before a project has been greenlighted by the studio making it.
One specific instance of this was Apple’s discussions with producers of Michael Moore’s “TrumpLand” documentary.
One notable tidbit from today’s report is that Apple executives met with comedian Chris Rock to discuss a potential video deal. In the end, however, Rock ended up inking a deal with Netflix believed to be worth $40 million and that will see him give the service two stand-up specials.
Essentially, today’s report is more of the same: Apple’s original video content efforts are small at this point, with the company focusing on intiatives that complement existing services like the App Store and Apple Music. Whether or not Apple ever intends to go all-in like Netflix and Amazon have done remains to be seen, but for now, this is what we have.