Can Apple afford to be content with its content arrangements!

You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business’

  • You = Steve Jobs
  • Me = Les Moonves CBS Chief executive 

Apparently Mr Moonves had some concerns about providing content to a service that could disrupt CBS existing revenue streams.

We think disruption is inevitable. 99% may be a bit of an exaggeration but Apple’s senior executives * certainly know a lot more about the internet and its content than do all the “broadcasting” networks combined. And bluntly broadcasting is 20th century!

Apple has apparently had quite some success in coming to arrangements with (at least some of) the major movie studios such as Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros.

Now The Walt Disney Company of course also owns the ABC network and incidentally 80% of ESPN (the balance remaining with the Hearst Corporation).  Bob Iger the President and CEO of  Disney has been a Board member of Apple Inc since November 2011.  Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, is a trustee of the Stephen P Jobs Trust which owns about 7.7% of Disney (which he acquired on the “merging” of Pixar with Disney back in 2006). Steve Jobs used to be on the Board of Disney (ostensibly being enlisted to help provide guidance and help steer the media company through the digital disruption that was wreaking havoc on its business)  but there apparently is now no representative from his trust on the Board .

As with CBS there have been recent reports that Apple is having ongoing discussions with various  content providers that allegedly are not succeeding (in Apple terms).

Another “disrupter” amazon are rumoured to be looking to provide content directly themselves.

There is a bit of a myth surrounding Apple in that, it is said that, it doesn’t make major acquisitions in spite of its not insignificant cash resources which are likely now above $100 billion.  We don’t subscribe to this view as it did actually invest last year $2.6 billion as the major consortium member in the acquisition of Nortel’s patents along with Microsoft RIM EMC, Ericsson, and Sony. Now that in our book is not insignificant!

Apple surely, one way or another, can use its muscle, if necessary, to assist in its disruption of the media content providers. Neither Disney nor News Corp has a market value of over $100 billion our own BSkyB’s is less than $20billion (£12 billion ish) and the BBC’s annual income is not even $10 billion! Now there’s a thought! Nice name iPlayer!!!

Update 3pm GMT * One of the senior executives (now) Sir “Jony” Ive (Senior VP Industrial Design) – has given an interview to the London Standard about in particular Apple’s design ethos. Slightly surprised Apple haven’t updated his bio for the knighthood.

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