by Jason Snell
Will Apple buy a content company? The clock’s ticking.
If you didn’t know, I co-host a weekly podcast with Tim Goodman, chief TV critic at The Hollywood Reporter. We’ve been talking on the podcast about Apple’s increasing presence in the television world for more than a year now, and today he’s written a piece at THR about where Apple goes next:
There are still so many questions surrounding tech logic vs. TV logic when it comes to Apple. But at the moment, it’s hard to imagine that the delay in acquiring some other content provider is related to a different operating system rather than a matter of A) Apple secrecy and B) Nobody has sold anything yet, even if it seems that everything is for sale. Apple has been rumored to have been circling Viacom for at least two years but nothing ever happened…
But if you’re watching these mega-mergers happen right in this very instant of court-approved monolith-making capitalism run amok, then you are a little more dubious about where Apple will end up when the musical chairs anthem runs out on their Beats. Will they own Sony? Will they own MGM? Will the CBS-Viacom battle have become defined enough that Viacom is on the market and able to be snatched up by Apple? Is there something else out there that makes sense to Apple — Lionsgate? Are there a series of tiny acquisitions — Crunchyroll? — about to be strung together?
Apple does its own thing, and I kind of believe that if it had its druthers, it would assemble its own slate of content. That said, the AT&T-Time Warner merger ruling is about to set off an enormous feeding frenzy in the entertainment world, and Apple has a fat wallet. It might not want to buy a few large entertainment companies, but if the alternative is that its competitors buy them all, it may not have the luxury of sitting things out.