On the heels of Disney acquiring Fox, another big shakeup could take place in the media industry with Apple reportedly mulling a decision to buy Netflix.
Two of the biggest technoligical pioneers of the last quarter-century could be teaming up. According to Citi Analysts, there is a 40 percent chance that Apple will buy Netflix. The news comes from Business Insider and cites $252 billion in overseas funds Apple has at their disposal and because of new corporate tax laws implemented by Donald Trump, it’s essentially free money for them to spend.
Without this article turning into something you’d read on Forbes or The Wall Street Journal, what this essentially means is Apple has a quarter of a billion dollars they can use to spend without being destroyed by taxes. Must be nice.
Apple has previously committed to joining the streaming wars with a $1 billion commitment to original programming and have a new series lined up with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon about morning TV shows.
So would buying Netflix be a sign of concession from Apple that they can’t compete in the streaming landscape on their own? Yes, it would. And I don’t think such a deal is actually going to take place. Just because a company has money to spend doesn’t mean they’re going to spend it wildly or foolishly.
But let’s speculate for a minute what Apple buying Netflix could mean for subscribers.
- It could pose a problem with the repeal of Net Neutrality because if we’re not watching on Apple TV or Apple products, the speed could be throttled down, rendering the viewing experience a waste of time.
- It could lead to Netflix beefing up their inventory of old shows from outside studios. A steady stream of shows have been leaving Netflix due to licensing rights with studios such as 20th Century Fox.
- It could lead to even more Original programming with that Apple money complementing the already $6-8 billion Netflix has earmarked to spend on programming in 2018.
- A potential deal could cost Apple, a near-trillion dollar company, $75-100 billion.
The benefits are in Apple’s corner to acquire or takeover Netflix, but Netflix fans should probably hope that Apple keeps their mitts off the company, at leat for the time being. Should there come a time when Netflix is cash poor and can’t keep paying to have shows like Stranger Things, The Crown and Marvel shows, then it could force their hand to look for a new corporate overlord to hand out some fresh cash.
In the meantime, nothing will change how you use Netflix or how you use Apple products for that matter, but this could be a story to monitor as 2018 continues, as it would be a massive shift in the media/technology landscape that would send ripples throughout the world, especially at Amazon.