As the iPod moves into the video business, Hollywood and broadcast veterans say Apple may have a tougher time dealing with TV and movie studios than it has had with the music labels. Studio chiefs have long sought to learn from mistakes made by the music industry in the digital realm, and handling Steve Jobs must be near the top of their list.
With one possible exception--Disney. The Magic Kingdom has already made a deal with Apple to offer such ABC television hits as "Desperate Housewives." If Disney is seeking to curry favor with Jobs, it would make perfect sense: The company has a new CEO, Robert Iger, who ostensibly could mend some of the fences dismantled during high-profile conflicts between predecessor Michael Eisner and the Apple chief.
A rapprochement at this juncture could resurrect the powerful alliance between Jobs' Pixar and Disney to create more blockbuster animated films. So even though some Hollywood executives have privately voiced concerns about security, revenue relationships and other aspects of Apple's video services, Disney may well believe that the potential gains are worth any risks.
Blog community response:
"This first deal has to signal that Pixar and Disney are close to kissing and making-up, even if it is the head of the animation units. So why would this conclusion be so evident? Steve Jobs and Eisner reportedly got along like the Hatfield's and McCoy's. Steve Jobs's stake in AAPL is worth some $500M and his 50%+ stake in PIXR is worth about $2.8 BILLION. You do the math and see what is best for his pocketbook."
"The closer content ties between Cupertino and the Magic Kingdom, hint at possible merger* plans! At the very least Pixar should continue to leverage Disney's considerable marketing might coupled with vertical integration. In return Disney secures lucrative brands and artistic talent.
[*A merger between Apple and Disney has been the subject of Wall Street water-cooler conversations since 1997.]"
--Generation Star Wars
"Is the Apple deal with Disney/ABC just another step in the slow dance of death for 'appointment viewing,' the mantra that guarantees viewers for a network's timeslot? Previous Apple evolutions have provided healthy revenue and boosted content demand for the media world. Some people really need to get a grip when it comes to technological evolutions."
--Best of Trendy