business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Two interesting stories about technology companies maneuvering themselves into what they hope will be more competitive positions.

• The Hollywood Reporter reports on speculation that Amazon may be considering a bid to acquire CBS, a move that would bolster its own Prime Video business and help it “give Netflix a run for its money.” Such a purchase would be similar to the move it made into bricks-and-mortar retailing when it acquired Whole Foods, though it likely would be considerably more expensive. It would also allow Amazon be a bigger player when bidding on live events that could be programmed both online and via traditional broadcast media; in addition, it would give CBS a boost in its on-demand service, which has offered programming like “Star Trek: Discovery.”

CNet reports that Apple is toying with the creation of a single subscription offering that would combine music, movies, TV shows and online news services - a concept, the story notes, that seems redolent of some elements of Amazon Prime. The new bundling service could be made available early next year. In other words, Apple Prime. Sort of.

I have no idea if either of these are going to actually happen. On the other hand, they could both happen by Labor Day.

The Eye-Opening point, I think, is that companies like Amazon and Apple almost certainly are seeking new ways to come to market, new ways to compete, and new ways to put a spin on what they’ve been doing.

I actually am more intrigued by the Amazon speculation … because I think it can be argued that what traditional broadcast needs is a jolt from the outside that challenges traditional assumptions, and that also serves to give Amazon more places to highlight its Prime Video offerings.

I wouldn’t bet against it happening.
KC's View: