Apple’s Production Future

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

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.

3 thoughts on “Apple’s Production Future”

  1. It seems that Apple would have made a play at producing content by now if they really wanted to do that.

    I think Apple is getting more serious about becoming a start-to-finish solution for self publishing video entertainment assets.

    Was FCPX created to disrupt the Hollywood gatekeeper system? I think that, in addition to making the world’s best NLE, they intended to have FCPX and iTunes be come a disruptive force in media distribution.

  2. Apple is a consumer electronics company now. It’s their focus. The new mbp shows that..
    The sell items for the mass market.. iPhone, mbp. These new devices are not friendly to pros with legacy and day an and day pro skills.

    Apple has failed in media as their past behaviour in music..(sacrificing the music industry to become dominant in another) is well know in the industry. Video media industry will never let Apple do that to them and are far more careful with Apple.. So Apple just keep being knocked down.
    No matter what they do.. I see the video media industry always putting them on a more difficult level to ensure they will not get into a position to do that to them.

    It’s similar to why the studios where ripped apart for anti trust many years ago. Ie when they owned the theatres/cinemas as well.. Apple is similar as they control the devices you listen with.

    The industry will always make sure independent companies that are cross platform.. not connected to other industries that they can sacrifice another to be dominant in are in better positions. Ie Netflix..

    Considering history.. it’s what I would do too..


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