Tech players are following telcos in losing interest in TV, a top analyst has said.
Speaking at Freeview’s Out Of the Box event, top analyst Benedict Evans said that “ownership of content has no strategic value to tech companies,” and specifically said that “Apple has lost interest in TV.”
The analyst said that “it is important to remember what the tech players are trying to achieve by investing in video” and suggested that the device-agnostic nature of streaming services is antithetical to the strategy of companies like Apple and Google.
He added that “For tech players, the TV as a device is just another user endpoint like a smart door lock.”
Evans questioned how important the Apple TV+ SVOD business is to the iPhone maker, posing the hypothetical “Does Tim Cook get daily updates on content deals that Apple has done?”
The analyst said that Amazon, while being a prolific device maker, is a different case as it “has this big subscription business” that it needs to maintain and grow, and that the company “looks for things with no marginal cost that they can bundle onto Prime subscriptions.”
One way for Amazon to boost Prime is via the addition of content for Prime Video, with the company reportedly eyeing a US$9 billion purchase of MGM. Evans suggested that the purchase of MGM would be a way for Amazon to go from a “secondary-tier” streaming service to a “top-tier” SVOD capable of truly rivalling the likes of Netflix.
Evans also spoke about AT&T’s proposed plans to spin-off its WarnerMedia unit into a standalone business with Discovery. He said: “From AT&T’s perspective it’s an admission that it was really dumb to buy TimeWarner in the first place.”
The analyst added that, between this and Verizon’s sale of Verizon Media earlier this month, it has become clear that “Media and telecoms are entirely different businesses, and there’s no strategic advantage for telcos to invest in media.”