Apple and Netflix reportedly circling MGM
Staff Reporter | On 29, Jan 2020
Apple and Netflix are reportedly circling MGM as a potential target for acquisition.
The streaming wars have heated up significantly in the past year, with Netflix seeing growing competition not only from Amazon Prime Video but also HBO Max (in the US), NBC’s Peacock (also in the US), Disney+ (arriving in the UK 24th March) and Apple TV+ (worldwide). As the only streamer in a market populated by only and tech firms, Netflix is racing to complete and release a swathe of original content, but acquiring MGM as both a studio for its productions as a library of older content would be a major boost to the streaming giant’s clout.
Apple TV+, meanwhile, has the challenge of standing out despite having no existing catalogue whatsoever, so MGM’s library of legacy titles would give it a significant leg up, particularly give that it includes the James Bond franchise, as well as Rocky and Mad Max.
MGM has held preliminary talks with “a number of companies”, reports CNBC, off the back of successes such as its TV series The Handmaid’s Tale and reality police show Live PD. MGM is also the owners of broadcaster Epix. Combined, its licensing and Epix subscriptions generated around $1 billion for the first nine months of 2019. That kind of revenue, as well as MGM’s brand strength, will make it an appealing prospect for companies such as Disney or WarnerMedia too, but with big deals and mergers in the past year, it’s more likely that either Apple or Netflix will step up to the plate.
Should talks continue, the result could be 2020’s defining media deal, as the streaming landscape evolves into its second phase – one where Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Disney, Comcast (owners of Sky and NBC) and AT&T (owners of HBO and WarnerBros) become the big six players in the digital media age.