Apple Inc. in early 2012 began holding meetings with EPIX, a conglomerate of three major movie studios that provides highly rated films to customers, according to reports executives hope to bring the movies from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, MGM and Viacom’s Paramount Pictures to Apple TV.
The Apple TV set-top box sells for $99 but according to a source at Reuters Apple wants the EPIX platform not only on Apple TV but also various other content streaming capable devices by 2013.
You may recall that Netflix currently has a $200 million deal with EPIX however that rights agreement which serves 23.4 million U.S. clients ends in September 2012 which explains Apple’s hopes that they can take the EPIX system live in early 2013.
In the meantime an Apple spokesperson says at this point any talk of a planned agreement is just “speculation” while EPIX spokespeople are offering the standard “No comment” reaction.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in April said Netflix was working with EPIX to create a system that will allow both company’s to operate effectively with one another, however he did not say how that deal would be formulated.
If you are currently a Netflix user you will be familiar with EPIX titles such as Rango, The Lincoln Lawyer and the soon to be released Thor and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In other words the only decent movies actually available on the Netflix streaming platform.
If Apple actually wants Epix there is a very good chance they will outbid Netflix for the rights to the studios movies, Apple is currently the world’s most valuable corporation with billions of dollars on hand, stock valued at more than $600 per share and a market valuation of over $600 billion. Then again Apple was unsuccessful in 2011 during their attempts to woo Hollywood studios and TV networks.
Unlike TV studios EPIX doesn’t have agreements with cable and satellite operators which could help Apple formulate a decent streaming deal with the company. .