Apple wanted to make a bid to buy Time Warner, according to a new report from The Financial Times, as the company looks to make a significant push into the content business.
The Cupertino technology giant’s SVP of software and services, Eddy Cue, apparently suggested the idea at a meeting at the end of last year with Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy, Olaf Olafsson.
The FT bases its report on three anonymous people “briefed” on the subject. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The acquisition would have given Apple access to a $60 billion multimedia content empire, including everything from CNN to HBO and Warner Bros. The discussions were apparently only ever at a “preliminary stage,” and the companies’ CEOs did not get involved. Cue suggested it at a meeting between the two companies to discuss other matters.
But it nonetheless illustrates that Apple is looking to significantly ramped up its commitment to content to accompany its apps and hardware products.
Apple has historically distinguished itself through the sophistication of its consumer hardware and accompanying bundled software. But sales of the iPhone — its chief revenue driver — are slowing, forcing the company to look elsewhere to maintain growth. One key area is subscription services, which further tie users into the ecosystem.
Last year Apple launched one such service, Apple Music — a subscription-supported music streaming app. One source told The Financial Times that Apple is willing to spend “several hundred million dollars a year” on content — so Apple Music is likely just the start.