Apple's Eddy Cue floated the idea of a massive acquisition of Time Warner during a meeting with one of the latter company's executives. That's according to a new report from the Financial Times, which claims that the meeting between Cue and Time Warner's Olaf Olafsson took place late last year.
The idea never moved far enough along to warrant a meeting between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes, however. Cue and Olafsson met to discuss potential inclusion of Time Warner's channels in Apple's oft-rumored — and reportedly paused for now — subscription TV service. The appeal of owning Time Warner (and thus HBO, all Turner Broadcasting networks, and Warner Bros) is pretty easy to see from that perspective.
And as the Financial Times notes, a buyout of Time Warner would've given Apple another revenue point as growth of the iPhone continues to slow and as the company faces hurdles in growing its business in markets like India. And just because the Time Warner thing didn't materialize doesn't mean Apple won't buy a different media company; the report says that Apple hasn't ruled out such a high profile acquisition.
In the meantime, Apple is creating original content of its own as a way to attract new Apple Music subscribers — but it'll take a lot more to match the Emmy-winning shows that companies like Netflix and Amazon are churning out with regularity at this point. To that end, Apple is planning to spend "several hundred million dollars" each year to ramp up its original offerings. Scooping up a prominent media company would certainly be one way to fast track those ambitions.