Ever since Apple launched its Apple TV digital media player on the market back in 2007, the media and entertainment industries have struggled when it comes to second-guessing some of the tech giant’s peripheral moves and ambitions. Having already upended the global music market with the launch of iTunes in 2001, many had expected Apple to do the same in the entertainment world.
t the time, the future of TV – or so we were told – would lie in apps. Companies like Apple, and later Google, would be there to provide them to us on their competing iOS and Android platforms.
While these developments did help usher in the era of connected TV, there were other factors at play too – the most significant of which was the decision by cable and satellite broadcasters to embrace digital platforms once cord-cutting passed a tipping point and viewers moved online.
Back in 2007, it was almost inconceivable that tech-bro barbarians from Silicon Valley might one day be kicking down the gilded gates of Hollywood and storming the cosseted citadels of the broadcast networks.
But 2007 was also the year that Netflix transitioned from being a DVD rental company into a content streaming firm – and it has since grown exponentially, now having over 222 million paying subscribers.
With Apple TV now in its fourth generation, it still took the Cupertino-headquartered company another 12 years to figure out its next move in the entertainment space before it launched Apple TV+ in 2019.
Having already enjoyed success with iTunes as well as with its successor Apple Music (today the second largest music streamer after Spotify), there was a compelling business case to be made for getting customers to subscribe to a new streaming service.
As the company has found out, however, the content creation business is a costly one.
Last year Apple spent in the order of $2bn on creating movies, documentaries and series like the Emmy-winning Ted Lasso as well as Coda and The Morning Show.
This investment pales into insignificance compared to Netflix, which spent an estimated $14bn on a wide variety of content in 2021. Even fellow tech behemoth Amazon spent around $9bn in 2021, in addition to the $8.5bn it splashed out for MGM.
But Apple is always full of surprises, and its announcement last week that it had entered into a $2.5bn broadcasting rights deal with the USA’s Major League Soccer, is a good example.
The deal follows on from its agreement with Major League Baseball to broadcast Friday night games which was announced earlier this year. It also throws down the gauntlet to the likes of Amazon, which has been busy snapping up similar broadcasting deals in basketball, American football, soccer and tennis in countries like the USA, the UK, Italy, France and Germany – much to the chagrin of traditional media.
Ever since Google and Facebook started to sell advertising, the same traditional media has harboured suspicions about Big Tech and its ambitions and intentions.
Even though Apple derives a tiny amount of revenue from advertising – less than 0.4pc according to some analysts – it may see it as an opportunity in the post-cookie world. While it has been down this road before with its iAd mobile offering – which it axed in 2016 – some analysts think it could easily return to the advertising market and become a serious player.
With a market capitalisation of $2.2trn and $73bn in cash on its balance sheet, Apple can fund pretty much any acquisition it likes, including Disney+, Netflix or one of the big studios like Lionsgate – moves which would bring its entertainment and media offering to a whole new level and to a much bigger audience base.
Notwithstanding possible regulatory challenges, bigger audiences within the Apple ecosystem could lead to bigger advertising revenues.
The reality, however, is that Apple is still overwhelmingly a tech company and the bulk of its $378.3bn in sales last year came from flogging iPhones and iPads. This is not going to change any time soon.
In the meantime, Apple appears to be quite happy playing a support role in the global entertainment and media industry.
The question is for how long?
ICAD creatives win prizes
The Public House was the big winner at the annual ICAD creative awards which were held last week. The agency picked up five gold, four silver and 13 bronze awards – including one for The Indo Daily Podcast.
Other big winners on the night included BBDO Dublin, Publicis Dublin, In the Company of Huskies, Core, and TBWA Dublin.
The Lifetime Achievement award, meanwhile, went to Mike Garner, creative director at Core.
Ad Net Zero sets up shop
Following the launch of Ad Net Zero in the UK in 2020, the initiative has been rolled out in Ireland to help the wider marketing communications industry respond to climate change.
Led by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland, it also includes IAB Ireland, the Marketing Institute of Ireland, the Association of Advertisers in Ireland and Commercial Producers of Ireland. The Irish leg of Ad Net Zero will now join the Ad Net Zero Steering Group.
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.