Daniel Ives: Apple has a lot riding on tonight's Oscars

"If Apple was to win the coveted Best Picture award with CODA it would catalyze more A+ talent coming to Apple first."

From a note to Wedbush clients that landed on my desktop Sunday:

Tonight is potentially a monumental event for Apple as the company is nominated for six Academy Awards for its Apple TV+ streaming service including a historic nomination for Best Picture with its groundbreaking film "CODA".

Apple through this awards season has already established itself as a premium content contender with traditional Hollywood stalwarts as well as Netflix, with its CODA Best Picture nomination potentially a game changer for its streaming ambitions going forward.

Apple's content efforts to date have been selective and lacked widespread acceptance within Hollywood as well as from consumers which has been a major hurdle to finding next level success with its streaming endeavors. While Ted Lasso and The Morning Show have gained massive audience success the last few years, Apple has lacked important credibility from Hollywood with tonight's Best Picture nomination a major home run for starters just to be in the running.

If Apple was to win the coveted Best Picture award with CODA it would catalyze more A+ talent coming to Apple first (or in the top bracket) and could propel Cupertino's content efforts by multiples over the coming years with a major paid subscriber boost.

Maintains Outperform rating and $200 target. 

My take: He's right. Talent flows to prestige almost as much as to money.  Artistic freedom counts too, but Apple -- not as laissez faire as the old HBO -- is still landing big scripts and big names.

BTW, CODA was a simple story, told well. Not sure I saw anything I would call "groundbreaking."

Cue the trailer:


  1. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Couldn’t hurt, right?

    Little known tidbit — AMPAS (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) presses/(demands?) the use of “Academy Award Winning (insert name here)” and “Academy Award nominated (insert name here)” titling whenever their winners/nominees/films are officially presented.

    Deserved or not and call it what you will — clout — sway — influence — bravado — ka-ching — it carries value and recognition beyond the gates of Hollywood and for all time.

    An achievement with legs.

    Best of luck to Apple tonight. (They’ve certainly paid enough.)

    March 27, 2022
  2. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Even at the Academy Awards: “Success is not illegal.”

    March 27, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Michael: That’s why the Academy resides in the US and not the EU. If the major movie studios were headquartered in the EU, the superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be headquartered inside a Dutch dating service and they would be fighting for “fairness” through ubiquitous mediocrity. The villains would be anyone with half a brain seeking to innovate and “selfishly” make a profit through disciple, sacrifice and hard work. How dare they, right?

      March 27, 2022
      • Michael Goldfeder said:
        @Robert: That’s exactly why Vestager will never be invited.

        March 27, 2022
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    @Michael Goldfeder: On the other hand, Vestager would be served well to deliberate her regulatory proposals with the very Apple consumers for whom she purports to protect from anticompetitive practices.

    PED, contact Margrethe Vestager’s office asking for a Zoom call involving her and Apple 3.0 consumers. It will speak volumes if she declines meeting on a Zoom call with Apple 3.0 participants, all who are genuine Apple consumers. Ms. Vestager’s refusal (or a representative from her office) to meet with us should subsequently be presented to our forum and become a public blogged topic for discussion. If the good Danish politician and European Commissioner accepts, then that Zoom call also becomes a public Apple 3.0 blog for all to view.

    It is incumbent on Vestager to treat seriously this forum’s entreaty extended to her and her office. Failure to do so and to meet with this Apple consumer global forum will be an indictment on her positive intentions to serve the very group she says her office represents.

    March 27, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      I think this is a great idea Jerry, though I really doubt she would accept. Even getting a rep from her office to participate would likely be a long shot.

      Having said that, there is no harm in making the request. Because you never know for sure – until you ask!

      March 27, 2022
  4. Michael Goldfeder said:
    @Jerry: If she does accept an invitation for a zoom call, I will make certain that my polite prescription is filled in advance.

    March 27, 2022
  5. Robert Stack said:
    BTW, there’s a really interesting article on CODA published on Apple Insider. Here’s a snippet:

    “However, “CODA” was not produced by Apple, it was acquired by the streamer after completion. The short story is that Apple TV+ bought it for a record $25 million after it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

    The full story is much, much more complex. According to Puck, before Apple wrote its check, “CODA” had already been sold to multiple distributors in multiple territories around the world.”

    To sum it up: Though they tried, Apple was not successful in purchasing the rights globally (as an exclusive). See:
    appleinsider {dot} com/articles/22/03/25/apple-nears-oscar-win-with-coda-but-it-cost-millions-and-incredibly-heated-negotiations

    March 27, 2022
  6. CODA won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Tony Kotsur) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Apple TV+ mentioned in each acceptance speech. Real big win!

    March 27, 2022
  7. CG said:
    \o/ \o/ CODA wins!

    Would have been a perfect night if it wasn’t for Will Smith’s stupidity.

    March 28, 2022
  8. CG said:
    @ Joseph Bland

    Chris Rock is comedian and his exact words were “Jada, Can’t Wait For GI Jane 2”.

    Not sure (other than “never”) at what point someone in in the right for getting physical over someone else’s words. Also, not a good look as Will Smith is twice the size of Chris Rock.


    March 28, 2022
  9. Bart Yee said:
    @JB and @GC
    From Variety:
    “Chris Rock and Will Smith had an altercation during the 2022 Oscar telecast. Rock appeared on stage to present the Oscar for documentary feature and made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith being in “G.I. Jane” because of her shaved head. Smith then took the stage to slap Rock. Although it appeared to be a joke at first, Smith returned to his seat and yelled at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!”

    “Smith’s publicist Meredith O. Sullivan came by him at the commercial break to have a discussion. Also during the break, Denzel Washington got up to speak to Smith privately. Smith revealed during his best actor speech that Washington said to him, “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.” “

    “Sullivan continued to visit Smith during each commercial break following the incident. Oscars producer Will Packer also visited Smith before the best actor category was announced. Smith was nominated for his performance in “King Richard” and won the Oscar later in the ceremony.

    “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said during his speech. He later apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for his actions.

    Pinkett Smith announced last year she shaved her head after struggling with alopecia. The actor said in an Instagram post, “Now at this point, I can only laugh… y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia. Just all of a sudden, one day…it just showed up like that. Now, this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide. So, I thought I’d just share it so y’all not asking any questions…Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something. Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!” “

    March 28, 2022

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