Robert Cringely has never backed away from controversial ideas and in among a rant about Apple losing its ‘mojo’ he proposes that Apple buy up all the ‘Hollywood’ writers as an end run around Studios. And that’s an idea I proposed about seven years ago in my piece What if Apple or Google simply bypassed Networks and Studios?
Here’s what Cringely suggests:
What Apple needs is an option for the online rights to every writer’s work. There are probably 10,000 “writers” in the entertainment business earning anywhere from $5000 to $5 million per year. I want Apple to put under contract every writer who has ever written anything that’s been produced, paying them each a guaranteed baseline of $40,000 per year (that’s $400 million annually) with an additional $600 million going to writers whose work is actually produced. Let’s say there are 2000 films and TV shows produced per year so that would be, say, $500,000 per movie and $50K per series episode.
That’s clearly within Apple’s budget but is probably not what they’re going to do, at least according to MacRumors.com:
Apple has reportedly met with TV producers and Hollywood studios about developing original TV shows to offer exclusively on iTunes, but services chief Eddy Cue later said Apple is “not in the business of trying to create TV shows.” Instead, he said Apple is willing to offer producers suggestions and guidance where possible.
Independent of its original content efforts, Apple has reportedly been getting more aggressive at landing movies for iTunes.
Apple, Google and Amazon have the potential to disrupt ‘Hollywood’ while Netflix continues with its successes in original programming.