Apple CEO Says HBO Gave Amazon “Older” Content, And Talks Up Apple TV

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 3:15pm PDT

Tim CookTim Cook hinted in his call with analysts today that Apple wants to become a bigger player in TV. He says that the company has already sold 20M of its Apple TV streaming boxes, which accounted for $1B  in sales … Read More »

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Apple Fiscal Q2 Earnings Blast Past Analyst Expectations As It Raises Dividend

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 1:32pm PDT

Apple shares are up more than 8% post market after it released a lot of news designed to please investors — including a 7-for-1 stock split, an increase in stock repurchases to $90B from $60B, and an 8% increase in the quarterly dividend.apple__121030091136 “We are confident in Apple’s future and see tremendous value in Apple’s stock,” CEO Tim Cook says. The announcements come as the consumer electronics company released earnings for the first three months of the year that trounced Wall Street forecasts.

Apple generated net income of $10.22B, +7.1% vs the period last year, on revenues of $45.6B, +4.7%. Analysts thought the top line would come in at $43.5B. Earnings at $11.62 a share far exceeded the consensus prediction of $10.18. Some of the upbeat news comes from higher-than-expected iPhone sales. Apple sold 43.7M units, up 17% vs the period last year. But iPad sales slipped 16% to 16.4M units while Mac computers were +5% to 4.1M and iPods fell 51% to 2.8M. Read More »

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Apple, Comcast In Talks For Streaming TV Deal: Report

By | Sunday March 23, 2014 @ 7:17pm PDT

apple Apple and Comcast are looking to team up on a deal for high quality streaming TV, “people familiar with the matter” tell WSJ. News of the early talks between the companies comes a month after Bloomberg reported … Read More »

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Google Unveils Android Wear Platform For Watches And Other Mobile Technologies

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 9:48am PDT

We’re still waiting for Apple to introduce its long-rumored iWatch. But Google today showed what it plans for mobile devices, beginning with watches including ones made by LG, HTC, Samsung and Motorola: The Android Wear software integrates voice commands and the kinds of location-based information that owners … Read More »

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Consumers Spent More Than $1B For Apple TV In 2013

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 1:10pm PST

Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed the number, which includes hardware and software sales for the streaming video device, at the company’s annual shareholder meeting today. AppleTVAnd at $1B in sales “it’s a little hard to call it a hobby … Read More »

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Disney Movies Anywhere Launches On iTunes With 400 Disney, Pixar & Marvel Titles In The Cloud

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 5:00am PST

browseall-webThe same day that Disney launches its mega-hit Frozen in the digital realm, the company is announcing a cloud-based purchase and storage service for its films. In a new deal with Apple, Disney Movies Anywhere goes live today exclusively through iTunes, kicking off with more than 400 Disney, Pixar and Marvel titles such as Iron Man 3, Finding Nemo and Mary Poppins. The service allows users to browse, buy, manage and watch movies on PCs and iOS devices using an app or website. The move comes 15 months after the company announced it was pulling the plug on Disney Movies Online, its barely-known and costly Internet pic service.

Not that DMA is without precedent.

In many ways, DMA is Disney’s answer to UltraViolet. While the House of Mickey has not been a part of the UltraViolet gang, the cloud-based digital rights library has been backed by many of the other major studios as well as Lionsgate, DreamWorks Animation and HBO, among others. With two such systems now on the movie market, there undoubtedly will be concerns about consumer confusion over DMA and UltraViolet, which debuted in 2011. The latter’s backers want the service to be the industry standard and to provide consumers with a single digital locker for their movies. A desire the new DMA now challenges.

PrintAdditionally, the tie-up with Apple is key for Disney. Right now UltraViolet titles can be played on Apple devices, with the help of an app, but don’t show up in iTunes. DMA is powered by KeyChest, Disney’s adaptable technology that can integrate with any existing distribution partner as well as work with new ones to enable access to digital content. DMA bolsters the companies’ ties with Apple. Last year, the Disney Channel app was made available on Apple TV. Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 72 – The Mammoth Cable Merger Podcast

By and | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 4:29pm PST

Deadline BIG MEDIA ep 72In this week’s podcast, Deadline Executive Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom kick the tires from several perspectives on that $45 billion Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger that would remake the cable industry. What will it mean for the cable industry, Hollywood and consumers? And what are its prospects for winning regulatory approval?

The Davids also check in CBS’s red-hot quarter and continued optimism on retransmission fees despite the big cable merger; welcome the long-in-coming videogame industry revival; and engage in shameless speculation about the latest reports of an Apple set-top device, and whether it might survive the Time Warner-Comcast merger.

Listen to the podcast in your choice of audio formats here:
Deadline Big Media podcast 72 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 72 (.M4A version)

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Carl Icahn Ends Apple Stock Buyback Campaign

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 7:27am PST

The activist investor declared victory today as he abandoned his campaign for a shareholder resolution that appeared headed for defeat. Carl IcahnHis proposal calling for a larger stock buyback – he put $50B as a Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 70: The Shorter Trailers Podcast

By and | Friday January 31, 2014 @ 6:03pm PST

Deadline BIG MEDIA podcast 70In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom catch up on the many highlights from earnings season announcements, beginning with those by possible dance partners Comcast and Time Warner Cable and what their news might mean for Comcast’s takeover bid. They also take the market temperature on Viacom and tech giants led by Google — which sold off its Motorola Mobility unit after owning it just two years — and Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and Amazon. They also look at exhibitors’ demands for shorter movie trailers and whether studios will play along.

Listen to the podcast in your choice of audio formats here:
Deadline Big Media podcast 70 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 70 (.M4A version)
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Apple CEO Says He Plans New Products, Not Just Tweaks On Existing Ones

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 3:33pm PST

Don’t worry, Apple fans. When CEO Tim Cook talks about the new products he plans to introduce this year he isn’t just referring to variations on familiar themes, such as a large-screen iPhone. Tim Cook“We’re working on things that … Read More »

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Apple Beats Analyst Estimates For Fiscal Q1 Earnings, But Not iPhone Sales

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 1:36pm PST

Does that mean the glass is half full? Apparently not to investors trading in the initial moments after Apple reported its results for the quarter that ended in December. Apple-LogoShares are down about 5% post-market after the electronics company reported net income of $13.1B, essentially flat with last year, on revenues of $57.6B, +5.7%. The top-line figure is slightly higher than the $57.4B that analysts expected. Yet earnings at $14.50 a share were well ahead of the $14.08 the Street anticipated. The company says that revenues in the current quarter could hit $44B; bulls had been hoping for something closer to $46B.Apple 1 Investors also might be disappointed in the news that Apple sold 51M iPhones in its fiscal Q1, which it says is an “all-time quarterly record” and up 6.7% vs the period last year. Optimists thought the company would come closer to 56M. Apple also sold 26M iPads (also a record and +13.5%), 4.8M Macs (+17.1%), and 6M iPods (-52.3%). “We love having the most satisfied, loyal and engaged customers, and are continuing to invest heavily in our future to make their experiences with our products and services even better,” CEO Tim Cook says.

Related: Apple CEO Says He Plans New Products, Not Just Tweaks On Existing Ones

Here’s how the latest results look: Read More »

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Carl Icahn Urges Apple To Introduce A 4K TV Set

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 1:32pm PST

The activist investor made his pitch in a letter to fellow shareholders today urging them to support his resolution calling on Apple to increase its share-repurchase plan. “Given that the company has $130 billion of net cash and $40 billion of expected annual earnings, and the fact that it is hard to find a better time in history to borrow money,Icahn headshot a $50 billion share repurchase over the course of fiscal year 2014 seems more than reasonable to us,” Carl Icahn writes — calling this “one of the greatest examples of a ‘no brainer’ we have seen in five decades of successful investing.” He adds that he’s an Apple fan, and over the last two weeks bought $1B of its stock, including $500M today, for a total holding worth about $3.6B. One reason for his optimism is his hope that Apple will finally introduce a TV set that will make it easy for users to watch shows from conventional pay TV and the web, and take advantage of the growing interest in 4K, or Ultra HD, screens. “While cable companies will likely be slow to upgrade their linear TV infrastructure due to cost, video content is expected to be accessible through the internet via services like Netflix and others,” Icahn writes. “We believe ultra high definition represents a major catalyst for the next TV replacement cycle and a promising moment for Apple to introduce its first new product in this category.”

Related: Carl Icahn Takes Another Bite Of Apple
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Carl Icahn Takes Another Bite Of Apple

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 8:11am PST

The billionaire investor‘s back on the Twitter and CNBC trail today. He said in a tweet this morning that, over the last two weeks, he bought $500M in Apple’s shares, bringing his total to more than $3B. Carl Icahn“Since … Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 65 – The 6 Big Questions for 2014 Podcast

By and | Friday December 27, 2013 @ 2:01pm PST

Related: Year-End: Will Big Media Companies Hit Stride, Or Peak, In 2014?

Deadline Big Media podcast 65Deadline Financial Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom look ahead to the six big questions facing big media after a big 2013, as potentially huge changes loom in the coming year. What does 2014 hold for Netflix, Apple, cable TV consolidation and the broader pay-TV industry, local broadcasting and theatrical exhibition? Lieberman puts on his fortuneteller hat and looks at what paradigms could be shifting.

Deadline Big Media podcast 65 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 65 (.M4A version)
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Year-End: Will Big Media Companies Hit Their Stride, Or Their Peak, In 2014?

By | Friday December 27, 2013 @ 11:34am PST

One in a series of Deadline stories that look back on 2013 and ahead to 2014.

People in and around the media business stock marketmay look at 2013 as the calm before the storm. The Dow Jones Media Index, up nearly 39% this year (as of mid-December), is the highest it’s been in at least a decade while stock prices are at or near all-time highs for industry leaders including CBS, Comcast, Discovery Communications, Disney, Netflix, and Viacom. YearEnd2013_badgeMany execs say that the good times will keep rolling in 2014. Additional ad revenues will pour into the market for the Olympics and mid-term elections, and media companies are making headway in their efforts to adjust to social media and new technologies. But next year moguls may have to work harder than they have in years for their unconscionably high pay. They face a possible return of merger mania, new efforts by tech giants to divert advertising and subscription dollars, and skittish shareholders poised to sell at the first sign that company earnings can’t fulfill their outsized expectations.

Related: Deadline Big Media 65 – The 6 Big Questions for 2014 Podcast

Here are a few of the specific questions on the minds of industry insiders as they look ahead to 2014:

Will Netflix tap the brakes on its content spending spree?

Netflix signHollywood’s becoming addicted to Netflix’s money. After a few years of license deals it owed creators of its streaming content $6.5B at the end of September, with 43% due in less than a year – and it has vowed to commit nearly $3B in 2014 for TV shows and movies. Those are huge numbers for a company that’s expected to generate $4.4B in revenue this year. Netflix can justify the outlays because it’s growing like Topsy. The number of domestic households that subscribed to the $7.99-a-month service grew 25.8% to nearly 30M in the 12 months ending in September. That fueled a 300+% increase in the stock price in 2013 making Netflix more valuable than Sony in investors’ eyes. “At some point [Netflix] could emerge as a monopolistic player in its [subscription video on demand] niche that would allow it to increase pricing, subs, and leverage in content negotiations,” Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible says, summarizing the bull case. But bears warn that Netflix will find itself overextended if sub growth slows, Amazon or Hulu gain momentum, and especially if cable companies aggressively move to a usage-based pricing system for broadband. Producers shouldn’t “assume Netflix and Amazon will bail them out and buy everything they make, forever,” Bernstein Research’s Todd Junger notes. “Eventually somebody has to lose.” With several shareholders urging CEO Reed Hastings to show Hollywood a little less love, studios in 2014 will have their antenna up for any signal that indicates a shift in Netflix’s spending plans. Read More »

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Carl Icahn Files Shareholder Proposal For Apple To Repurchase Shares

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 12:20pm PST

The activist investor disclosed his effort in a tweet — apparently coordinated with a release from Time magazine promoting its new cover story about him where he discusses his proposal. Icahn headshot“I’m not against the management of this company,” he … Read More »

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Deadline Big Media Podcast 59: Talking Mobile With Boy Genius

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 2:29pm PST

Listen to (and share) Episode 59 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s financial editor joins host David Bloom and Jonathan Geller of Deadline’s sibling site BGR.com in talking about the mobile business, starting with the fundamental face-off between Apple and Google over mobile business models. They also talk about the prospects for Samsung, Microsoft and BlackBerryT-Mobile’s radical new approach to the mobile phone business; a new study suggesting more than half of Internet bandwidth is consumed by just two sites, YouTube and Netflix; and the dubious future of next-generation video game consoles as Sony launches the PS4 today and Microsoft debuts the Xbox One in a week.

Separately, the two Davids pick through the most notable news from this week’s media earnings reports, including MGM’s 2012 gifts that keep giving, CBS and Dish Network doing a dance around the Hopper and Viacom’s debt to Miley Cyrus and some zombies.

Deadline Big Media Episode 59 (MP3 version)
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Apple CEO Says Consumers May Have To Wait For New Product Lines

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 3:45pm PDT

Apple CEO Tim Cook probably just disappointed a lot of people who’ve been hoping to see his company unveil a new blockbuster product line such as an iWatch or Apple TV set. He teased the Read More »

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Apple Beats Fiscal Q4 Earnings Forecasts But Shares Fall On Disappointing Sales Projections

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 1:35pm PDT

Here’s more proof that the market looks forward. Apple just disclosed earnings for the quarter that ended in September that should delight investors. But shares fell in initial post-market trading based on sales projections for the current quarter that … Read More »

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