Peacock and HBO Max aren’t here yet, so we’re not quite all the way into the Streampocalypse, but an early combatant and one of the freshest competitors are apparently fighting each other for a chance to get a very specific edge on the other streamers—and not a particularly big one at that. According to a long CNBC report about the streamers and their respective prospects, both Apple and Netflix are fighting over a chance to buy MGM and take control of its back catalog. As CNBC notes, a lot of the other platforms already have their own back catalogs to fall back on (Hulu has a lot of existing deals and Disney’s might, HBO Max will have Warner Bros., Peacock will have NBCUniversal, and Disney+ also has Disney’s might), so buying a studio like MGM would give another streaming service its own collection of old things to theoretically attract subscribers.
The catch is that this is MGM we’re talking about. It doesn’t exactly have the library of, say, Disney or Warner. Still, CNBC says it’s the one bring brought up in these talks because it’s owned by faceless hedge funds that just want to make money and don’t necessarily give a damn about MGM, setting it apart from other big media companies like AMC and ViacomCBS, which are owned by wealthy human families—a demographic that typically cares about making money and their continued ability to make money without having to do much actual work. Still, it’s not like MGM has nothing. It has the James Bond movies, for one thing, which would be a nice get for either Apple or Netflix to lock down. It also as Rocky, Mad Max, and Live P.D., the cop show that’s on all day every day.
The other catch is that both Netflix and Apple are traditionally averse to huge acquisitions like buying MGM. Netflix has never done that sort of thing, and the biggest one Apple has engaged in like this was when it picked up Beats for $3 billion. CNBC suspects that MGM’s library could be worth “more than $10 billion,” which is… higher than we would expect. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with this, but it would be fun if James Bond suddenly started using a lot more Apple-branded gadgets (or if he started spending more time trying to find something to watch on Netflix).