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Apple wants to make a “Transformative acquisition” in Hollywood – not just buying TV shows

Apple wants to make a “transformative acquisition” in Hollywood, a new report from the New York Post says, citing unnamed producers who have had meetings with senior Apple executives.

It’s an exciting revelation, and could mean Apple is gearing up to buy a major and established studio or service. Much like when the company made a serious jump into the world of high-end audio and streaming, when it bought Beats in 2014.

The meetings Apple execs had are said to have been with successful TV and film producers, and Apple’s interest in bringing them to work for the tech giant. However, the Post learned about Apple’s wider intentions. The article says:

“When it came to the tech company’s ultimate goal, the executive was left with the impression that the Cupertino, Calif., company is looking for a transformative acquisition and not just a deal to buy TV shows.”

It’s not the first time we’ve learned Apple is interested in original programming, but the idea it could make a major acquisition is new territory.

Read more: Is Apple planning to launch a fifth-gen 4K Apple TV this year?

The article goes on to quote an unnamed source:

“They talked to Sony and Paramount last week. They are preparing something big,” a source told The Post.”

It’s likely Apple is ramping up its presence in film and TV after Google announced a cable TV bundle available via YouTube – the kind of service Apple planned but was unable to make happen over the years – and following Amazon’s Academy Award win for producing Manchester by the Sea.

As for the likes of Sony – it currently has a streaming video service via Sony PlayStation Vue. Netflix is also a name many throw around when Apple is considered to be flexing its acquisitional muscles. Disney is also an important name considering its long-term links to Apple. Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs is a shareholder of both companies.

One insider the Post talked to believes it’s unlikely Apple will now build a service in-house saying “I don’t see them doing this as a startup. It’s too small. It’s too hard. I see them buying something first.”

Another source said it’s uncertain who’s in charge of Apple’s approach in this space. It’s noted that both Eddy Cue, SVP of internet software and services, as well as Jimmy Iovine, who joined Apple following the Beats acquisition, are taking meetings: “They each want to be the guy, and they’re telling people, don’t deal with the other one.”

Apple has made a few small-scale forays into original content, including Planet of the App’s – a typical talent show format for apps developers, plus James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, both arriving via Apple Music soon.