Apple is getting into original content, but a combination of their being new to the entertainment industry and wanting to maintain their Disney-like, family-friendly brand image, is creating enough tension with some industry folks that they're complaining to the likes of the papers.
From the New York Post:
Shortly after Apple announced its Hollywood ambitions in 2017, Tinseltown's wheeler-dealers were lining up to work with the iPhone maker. But as the company's streaming project gets ready for launch, agents and producers can't stop griping about how "difficult" Apple is to deal with — citing a "lack of transparency," "lack of clarity" and "intrusive" executives, including CEO Cook.
I get it. You can't really beta test media, and Hollywood doesn't have the culture of secrecy the iPhone and other Apple hardware products were brought up under. So, the early fumbles are going to be painful and public.
When Apple got into retail, Steve Jobs spent a lot of time with board member Millard Drexler, who also happened to be CEO of the Gap. I can't imagine Tim Cook isn't already doing this, but he has to spend as much time as possible with board member Robert Iger, who also happens to be CEO of Disney.
Drexler had Jobs build a full Apple Store in a warehouse to get all their initial mistakes out of the way before learning from them and building the real first store.
Apple is going to get original content wrong before they get it right. They've just got to build out people and a process they can trust and then trust those people and that process.
"Tim Cook is giving notes and getting involved," said a producer who has worked with Apple. One of the CEO's most repeated notes is "don't be so mean!," the source said.
"He's giving feedback," an agent said of Cook, adding that the CEO has been seen on the Vancouver set for "See," a futuristic drama about human kind without sight, and in LA for the production of a drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
Apple executives in general have been "very involved," this person said, adding that writers and directors prefer to work without corporate intrusions.
Apple's nitpicking over content and technology has led to delays, sources said.
And, in the meantime, there'll be a lot of these kinds of articles.