Arrivederci, Tesla — A New Crop Of E-Car Makers Swerves Into View

Tesla shares are out of favor, again. This time, it’s because the electric car/solar power/save-the-planet company is beginning to be valued like an automaker.

Apple Considered Offering Original TV Content Free to Customers Who Bought AppleCare

Apple will debut its rumored television service on Monday, and ahead of the event, The Washington Post has shared some new details on the planning that has gone into Apple’s TV service.

When deciding how to distribute its original television content and at what cost, Apple reportedly considered offering free television shows to customers who paid the extra fee for AppleCare for their Mac and iOS devices.



Apple also considered an offering through the Apple TV, and recent rumors have suggested that the content Apple offers will actually be provided through the TV app on iOS devices and the company’s set-top box. There’s also a possibility that Apple will distribute its content outside of its own platform as well, which is something else the company has mulled.

Apple’s plans are still not clear to industry insiders and Hollywood executives, and one source that provided the above info to The Washington Post said that Apple’s plans have changed multiple times.

“Whatever they try to sell on Monday, it’s not what they started with and they are trying to figure out what kind of engine to put in while the plane is in the air,” the executive said.

Film and TV creators who are working with Apple have been left in the dark about the company’s plans and do not know if content will be exclusive to Apple users or available to everyone. Creators received “obfuscation and ambiguous responses” when asking about distribution, with some speculating that Apple may not have made up its mind about the finer details of the streaming service.

“Apple is the only company in the world that can drop a couple million dollars in entertainment and get Reese Witherspoon and M. Night Shamalayan on board without any articulation of a plan in terms of marketing or distribution,” said one well-connected Hollywood executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to upset Apple.

Recent reports from The Information and Recode have suggested Apple may be planning to offer its own content in the TV app at no cost as a way to lure Apple users to purchase subscriptions for other services, such as Showtime or Starz, within the TV app.

Apple plans to offer a range of different content from various content partners, and has plans to provide bundles of cable channels. These partnerships are said to be the true focus of Apple’s TV service, and what will drive up the company’s services revenue.

As we’ve previously heard, Apple has invested millions of dollars in its original television shows. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who will star in a morning show drama tentatively called “The Morning Show,” are being paid approximately $1.1 million per episode each.

While there have been mixed rumors about Apple’s efforts to control the content that’s released on its platform, Apple has been willing to create “edgy” shows. One person involved with Apple said Apple executives in Cupertino have stayed out of the creative process.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has, however, “passed notes” to writers on Apple shows through Apple’s Hollywood team because Tim Cook, as we’ve heard before, is aiming to protect Apple’s brand and reputation. Apple, for example, shelved “Vital Signs,” a show starring Dr. Dre, as was reported earlier last year. Apple could perhaps release this show sometime later, according to sources that spoke to The Washington Post.

Apple will answer at least some of the questions about its streaming service plans on Monday, March 25, which is when its “It’s Showtime” event will take place. The event will start at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with MacRumors planning to offer live coverage both on MacRumors.com and the MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

This article, "Apple Considered Offering Original TV Content Free to Customers Who Bought AppleCare" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Trump adversary to run for Puerto Rico governor in 2020

Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan and a fierce adversary of President Donald Trump, said on Friday she was running for governor of the U.S. territory in 2020.

Equity Shot: Pinterest and Zoom file to go public

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

What a Friday. This afternoon (mere hours after we released our regularly scheduled episode no less!), both Pinterest and Zoom dropped their public S-1 filings. So we rolled up our proverbial sleeves and ran through the numbers. If you want to follow along, the Pinterest S-1 is here, and the Zoom document is here.

Got it? Great. Pinterest’s long-awaited IPO filing paints a picture of a company cutting its losses while expanding its revenue. That’s the correct direction for both its top and bottom lines.

As Kate points out, it’s not in the same league as Lyft when it comes to scale, but it’s still quite large.

More than big enough to go public, whether it’s big enough to meet, let alone surpass its final private valuation ($12.3 billion) isn’t clear yet. Peeking through the numbers, Pinterest has been improving margins and accelerating growth, a surprisingly winsome brace of metrics for the decacorn.

Pinterest has raised a boatload of venture capital, about $1.5 billion since it was founded in 2010. Its IPO filing lists both early and late-stage investors, like Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity and Valiant Capital Partners as key stakeholders. Interestingly, it doesn’t state the percent ownership of each of these entities, which isn’t something we’ve ever seen before.

Next, Zoom’s S-1 filing was more dark horse entrance than Katy Perry album drop, but the firm has a history of rapid growth (over 100 percent, yearly) and more recently, profit. Yes, the enterprise-facing video conferencing unicorn actually makes money!

In 2019, the year in which the market is bated on Uber’s debut, profit almost feels out of place. We know Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan, which helps. As Kate explains, this isn’t his first time as a founder. Nor is it his first major success. Yuan sold his last company, WebEx, for $3.2 billion to Cisco years ago then vowed never to sell Zoom (he wasn’t thrilled with how that WebEx acquisition turned out).

Should we have been that surprised to see a VC-backed tech company post a profit — no. But that tells you a little something about this bubble we live in, doesn’t it?

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

U.S. lawmaker seeks Boeing whistleblowers, some MAX 737 orders in jeopardy

A U.S. lawmaker on Friday urged current or former Boeing Co and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees to come forward with any information about the certification program for the 737 MAX, which has suffered two fatal crashes in five months.

Factbox: A scorecard of key players in U.S. special counsel Russia probe

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other federal prosecutors have been investigating whether President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired with Russia and whether the president unlawfully tried to obstruct the inquiry.

Allergan promises independent board chair in next leadership change

Allergan Plc plans to elect an independent board chairman, starting with the next leadership transition, the Botox maker said on Friday, as the drugmaker responds to calls from hedge fund Appaloosa LP to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive officer.