Apple recently agreed to discuss a potential acquisition of media giant MGM in an effort to build its fledgling Apple TV-streaming service with original programming and exclusive content, according to a report obtained bymedia on Sunday. CNBC, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that MGM has held talks with companies including digital media publishers Apple and Netflix to assess interest in a possible sale. Whether these discussions are still ongoing remains unknown.
The report, which focuses on the survival of traditional media companies in the context of the online streaming shift, notes that MGM is one of the few companies at a serious disadvantage compared to some of its larger, fast-growing rivals. The change sriven by two major industry shifts: the shift from cable to streaming and the merger of media companies. The transition to streaming has been years, but until recently, companies have been actively looking for mature content owners. Disney, for example, completed its $70 billion acquisition of Fox last May, while Viacom and CBS agreed to a $30 billion merger last August.
Driven by streaming technology, it’s no surprise that the new media era has seen big tech companies acquire companies in once-closed industries. By the end of 2018, Comcast completed its acquisition of Sky in a deal worth about $40 billion. In addition, the telecommunications giant, AT?T, is buying Time Warner for $85 billion in 2018, further boosting the pursuit of streaming entertainment.
Traditional media companies, which are worth less than $50 billion, find themselves in a bad position. AMC Networks, Discovery, Lions Gate, MGM, Sony Pictures and Viacom CBS are listed as good candidates in the report, with MGM being a particularly good candidate, in part because of a group of hedge fund owners.
Apple is known to be looking for popular media companies. Last year, Apple reportedly took part in a bidding war for BAD Robot at JJ Abrams Studios, which ended up losing out to Warner Media. Apple has been rumoured to be exploring a takeover of the Oscar-winning film studio A24.