Take this one with a huge grain of salt, but Kim Dotcom — yes that one — posted a tweet earlier today claiming to have inside intel that Apple was going to buy a Hollywood Studio in 2017. There’s no indication as to where Dotcom is getting his info from, and without any more substantive information, it’s hard to take this report all that seriously. Nonetheless, Dotcom’s claim may not be as outlandish as it might initially seem amid reports that Apple earlier this year explored the possibility of acquiring Time Warner.
All that said, Dotcom’s tweet provides us with a perfect jumping off point to discuss Apple’s somewhat murky role in the ongoing media content war. As we’ve covered previously, Apple’s content strategy in the media space isn’t non-existent, but it’s downright confusing. As outlets like Netflix and even Amazon are devoting more and more resources towards developing original content, Apple has busied itself with music-based documentaries and a reality show about the app economy.
While such endeavors in and of themselves are perfectly fine, Apple seems to be tiptoeing around developing original content as opposed to diving right in. All the while, Apple’s other strategy for control of the living room — a streaming TV service — seems to have fallen by the wayside. In the meantime, the streaming space is already starting to get crowded. Just recently, AT&T launched its DirecTV Now service and there are even reports that Amazon wants to launch a similar service of its own in the near future.
With Apple still sitting on the sidelines with respect to the TV space, some analysts have actually articulated that Apple might be well-advised to make a crazy deal for a Hollywood studio. While such a move isn’t completely outside the realm of possibility, it might make more economic sense for Apple to simply develop its own slate of high-quality programming. As we’ve covered before, Apple certainly has enough cash to develop and produce a large number of hit TV shows. To wit, below is a list of seven hit TV shows and how much one season of production costs.
- Game of Thrones – $60 million
- Breaking Bad – $39 million
- House of Cards & Orange is the new Black – $100 million
- Homeland – $36 million
- Netflix version of Arrested Development – $45 million
- LOST- $100 million over the course of a 25 episode season
- Boardwalk Empire – $60 million
Clearly, Apple could feasibly produce 7 high-caliber shows for just $440 million, or even 35 original programs for far less than the $3 billion it paid to acquire Beats a few years back.