Maybe it’s something of a guy thing or a blast from the past or a part of the male psyche which desires to conquer danger and be rewarded with a Bond Girl, but the James Bond franchise seems to live on.
So, why does Apple– a company that makes its money on electronic hardware gadgets– want to buy into the James Bond franchise? Come to think of it, why do all these competing tech companies feel the need to leave their comfort zone of electronics and dabble in the real estate of entertainment content?
Follow The Money
It’s easy to see why Netflix has dumped many tens of millions of dollars into exclusive content. Content is king. If you deliver someone else’s content, as Amazon, Apple, Netflix, as well as Roku and Google Chromecast do, the how do you set yourself apart from the competition? And how do you make your brand a compelling reason to spend money?
See? Money is the game so to figure out a company’s strategy or tactics, just follow the money.
Apple’s fastest growing revenue stream is not iPhone. It’s not the Mac. It’s not the iPad. It’s not even Apple Watch. The company’s fastest growing revenue stream is called Services. It’s a Fortune 100 company all by itself. Services are bigger than Amazon’s highly touted web services business, and about three times larger than Netflix. It’s bigger at Apple than any product except the iPhone. What does that say? Well, first, let’s see what’s in Services.
This revenue stream has the App Stores, iTunes media, Apple Pay, Apple Music, and that includes sales and downloads of movies and TV shows.
Why does Apple want James Bond?
Apple needs more exclusive content to bundle with products in Services. Exclusive content helps to set Apple’s products apart from competitors. It also means Apple’s hardware is the place to go because that’s where all the content is– some of it, potentially, completely exclusive to Apple. Apple’s hardware already carries Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and other content providers, but exclusive content makes iPhone, iPad, and Mac the hardware to own if you’re serious about content.
Apple has a good relationship with Disney, but other content makers have balked at creating exclusive deals with the iPhone maker, worrying that what happened to the music industry could happen to the video industry. Still, it’s rather simple. Apple needs to differentiate itself from competitors, and one major way to do that is exclusive content, hence Apple’s billion dollar content trust fund to develop Apple-owned content only available on Apple’s devices.
The James Bond franchise is just one jewel Apple hopes to integrate into Services.