Eddy Cue: Apple not trying to compete with Netflix or Comcast, seeking to be a delivery platform instead
In an interview published on Thursday, Eddy Cue — Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services — dismissed any interest in the company creating its own TV shows, and addressed other topics like "skinny" channel bundles and a rumored interest in buying Time Warner.
Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Cue answered a series of questions about Apple's role in media, and upcoming purchases in the space. Regarding Apple's focus, Cue said that "We all consume and love the stuff that Hollywood does. We just didn't always love it in the way that they got it to us. So, what we could do is really make it easier for their customers, their fans, to be able to consume content in a much better way."
Cue believes that the Apple TV in its current incarnation "gives content providers the ability to do things that are interactive, which they've never had." At the same time, he said that Apple overall is "trying to do is build the platform that allows anybody to get content to consumers."
Customers have been looking to Apple for "a la carte" programming choices — but Cue is not a fan of the concept. He commented that "most people, at the end of the day, end up paying more, not less, for the things they love. With TV content being at an all-time high, why are people asking for less?"
The executive added that people are seeking so-called "skinny bundles" because they're not getting the features they want from modern media delivery and content producers. Related to this, he pointed to existing TV interfaces as archaic, and wondered why voice search, like that on the Apple TV, isn't more widely available in the broadcast industry's presentation to customers, which would solve the problem of finding desired content and filtering everything else out.
Apple's conversations with the broadcast and media industries started with co-founder Steve Jobs. According to Cue, Jobs pushed him how to "appreciate and learn a little bit more about how that side of the business worked." In the Hollywood Reporter interview, Cue drew parallels between how media production and Silicon Valley work, as both industries demand creativity from workers in the field, with Apple allgedly being the first company to see it that way.
Cue denied that Apple is interested in a great deal of unique programming, saying that the company's focus in this regard is Apple Music and "we are only going into the content business [with projects] that we think are really tied to our products." He added that "we're not in the business of trying to create TV shows," and that Apple's focus as a delivery platform means that it's "not trying to compete with Netflix or compete with Comcast."
Regarding the recently announced Planet of the Apps series, Cue said that "we felt like there were things that [the producer] wanted to do in the show that, if we helped him with it, it would be way better or only possible if we did it. And that's the reason we got involved, because we actually think we bring something to the table."
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