Apple executives have been trying to woo several successful Hollywood TV and film products in recent weeks, according to a new report by The New York Post. A source indicated to The Post that Apple SVP Eddy Cue spoke to executives from Paramount Pictures as well as Sony’s TV and film units, suggesting that Apple is working on “something big.” Reports are that Apple has been vague about its ultimate goal in the discussions, however one executive who spoke with Apple was left with the impression that Apple is looking for a “transformative acquisition” rather than just making a deal to buy TV shows.
However, the report also pulls in comments from several inside sources suggesting that Apple still isn’t entirely clear about what it’s own plans are, and may be just testing the waters. One source said that Apple appears to “have a lot of trepidation” about the world of Hollywood, while according to other insiders it’s not even clear exactly who is driving the effort. Several Apple executives including Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services, Robert Kondrk, VP of Apple Content and Media Apps, and Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine are reportedly talking to different people in Hollywood and each trying to arrange their own exclusive deals. As one insider told The Post, “They each want to be the guy, and they’re telling people, don’t deal with the other one,” while another insider said “They just haven’t figured it out.” A third insider who is familiar with Apple’s thinking said that he didn’t know “if Apple is fully committed” but did suggest that wouldn’t do it “as a startup” but would more likely make some kind of acquisition.
Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged last month that Apple has “put its toe in the water” in the area of original content with projects like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, however Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine also clearly stated that Apple’s plans were about enhancing Apple Music in order to make “the music service a cultural point of reference” rather than looking to get into competition with services such as Netflix.