There's an arms race on for original content among both online and traditional cable entertainment companies, and yesterday inside sources revealed that Apple (AAPL) - Get Report has its own plans to enter the fray. As companies ramp up their content offerings, and as Apple moves further into entertainment, investors should brace for profits.
Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.
The battle for original content was kicked off when Netflix began stealing viewers away from traditional cable outlets. The company had maintained a steady business of providing streamed videos from other studios for years. But when Netflix began releasing its own critically acclaimed and commercially successful productions such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, the cable companies felt the heat.
Leading the pack is Time Warner, which owns HBO. Time Warner, the third largest network TV and entertainment company (behind Comcast and Walt Disney), is projected to spend $4.5 billion on original programming this year.
Netflix itself is expected to shell out $5 billion in 2016 to create original content, while Amazon is expected to spend about $3 billion.
Yesterday, sources revealed that Apple is so interested in original content creation that it considered purchasing Time Warner itself at the end of last year. Eddy Cue, head of businesses including iTunes and Apple Music, brought up the idea at a meeting with Time Warner's head of strategy, Olaf Olafsson.
The idea of an acquisition ended there, with neither Apple nor Time Warner's CEOs involved, but this demonstrates Apple's interest in the lucrative original content industry.
Already this year, Apple has begun commissioning its own entertainment productions, with a video series about apps, as well as a series starring hip hop star Dr. Dre. In all, the company reportedly wants to spend "several hundred million dollars a year" on original content.
And according to a source cited by the Financial Times, Apple would still be open to purchasing an entertainment and media company. Time Warner would be a smart purchase for Apple. Although the company is currently valued at more than $60 billion, Apple can afford it. The company is sitting on a massive cash pile of more than $210 billion. And in addition to HBO, Time Warner owns Warner Bros. Studios, one of the world's largest producers of both television content and feature films, as well as several other cable channels.
Apple's stock was back up over $100 this week. Although the stock has been slightly beaten down as of late, it's still one of the best places on the market for investors' cash. Apple has been the growth story of the last several decades, and there's little reason why this growth should come to a screaming halt.
Although sales of iPhones and iPads have seen an unprecedented slowdown, keep in mind that this is a cyclical business, prone to periods of booms and busts. As Apple branches out, moving into new and exciting sectors, as well as releasing new hit gadgets, the stock will continue to deliver tasty profits.
Apple is one of the best stocks on the market. But what if I told you there is a way to make $67,548 per year - or more - without stocks, just by following this simple step-by-step process? The trader who is sharing this secret has been right more than 8 out of 10 times, turning $5,000 into more than $5 million for himself. Click here to see how easy it is to follow his lead.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.