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With Apple both throwing its weight around to capture exclusives for video content — and not willing to get in a bidding war with other streaming services for content — Hollywood is said to be beginning to question the company's future intentions as a media venue.
Over the last two years, Apple appears to be reinforcing the appearance of video as a "hobby" for the company, as famously stated by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs talking about the Apple TV.
In the last year, Apple engaged comedian Chris Rock in discussions about exclusive content, according to The Information. Ultimately, Apple walked away from the deal, with two exclusive stand-up shows ending up on Netflix, for $20 million a show.
On the other hand, movie deals for iTunes are being pursued more aggressively, with Apple not being afraid to swing its promotional weight around to cap a deal. Apple's discussions with the producers of Michael Moore's "TrumpLand" documentary started very early on in production, and Apple sealed the deal with heavy promotion of the feature on the iTunes homepage, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Also confusing the issue is Apple's failure to secure a rumored over-the-top programming package for the Apple TV, as well as the all-in approach the company is taking to the "Planet of the Apps" reality show, currently in production.
Analysts believe that not having a wide array of original programming hurts Apple in the long run by keeping market share low, eliminating syndication broadcast revenues, and giving no reasons for consumers to lock-in to iTunes and Apple TV.
However, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook's saying that Apple was interested in "content creation and ownership" in the most recent financial results report fueled speculation that Apple plans to delve further into the media market.