Apple stayed above the streaming arms race

But it hasn't been afraid to get into bidding wars.

From Joe Flint's "Apple’s ‘Quality Over Quantity’ Approach Pays Off at Oscars" posted Monday by the Wall Street Journal:

Apple's boutique-store approach to streaming is paying off with tastemakers.

While Apple TV+ doesn’t have nearly as deep a catalog as streaming giants such as Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. ’s Disney+, it has become a critical darling. Sunday night’s Academy Award win for “CODA”—the first time a streaming service won best picture—comes just months after Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” took home the Best Comedy trophy at the Emmy Awards.

Launched in 2019, Apple TV+ has opted for a more tactical approach to streaming than its rivals—Netflix, Amazon.’s Prime Video, Disney+ and AT&T’s HBO Max—which are locked in an arms race to create as much content as possible...

Helmed by former Sony Television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, Apple TV+ has also made plenty of deals with big-name talent and companies including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, producer Ridley Scott and Imagine Entertainment.

Apple occasionally gets into bidding wars for content. It has bested Netflix and others out for several high-profile projects, including “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a coming Leonardo DiCaprio movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

My take: CODA was captured in a bidding war. Apple paid $25 million for a Sundance movie that cost $10 million to make. Then it reportedly spent another $10 million promoting it to the Academy. It's a game Harvey Weinstein perfected, and Apple played it well.


  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Apple is earning the industry’s respect, in part, due to its strategy outlined in this blog post. If Apple attempted to “buy” the company’s way into Hollywood, the company would be derided and openly criticized for adding to the industry’s excesses. While Apple is unafraid to spend in support of its efforts, the investments are targeted, focused and the decisions are intelligent and thoughtful. Disciplined and focused investments are not only prudent, Apple is displaying respectful restraint. It’s the best way to build partnerships and create credibility as a positive force in the industry.

    March 28, 2022
  2. Steven Philips said:
    OK, a bit off topic, but I’m waiting for the movie – or short series – version of January 6th and its wacky cast of characters. Similar to “All the President’s Men”. ( They could probably use the same title! )

    March 28, 2022
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. My take: CODA was captured in a bidding war. Apple paid $25 million for a Sundance movie that cost $10 million to make. Then it reportedly spent another $10 million promoting it to the Academy.”

    It is important to denote, PED, that CODA at $10M is considered a low budget film. Apple recognized discerningly the premium quality content offering whereas I do not believe other competitors understood the offering. Consequently, Apple made an astute decision to acquire the rights of the film on the belief it would be a hit and on the belief that the Academy would embrace the film’s message. Hollywood thirsts for films that impart a message relative to needed societal norm changes and public understanding of the medical, social and emotional aspects of the deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Someone in Apple knew this fact, made the bet, promoted the film knowing it was of premium content and with good acting; and then ran with it.

    March 28, 2022

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