Multi-Year Agreement for Multiple Years
Apple has signed on independent studio A24 to produce films in a deal that is expected to be part of Apple's long-rumored video streaming service that may launch in 2019.
While few details of the deal have been shared publicly, Variety has proposed that the deal spans multiple films for multiple years. Whether these films will be available via streaming only or will also have a theater release are unknown. The financial terms of the agreement are unknown, but the partnership does not have an exclusivity agreement or ‘first-look agreement,’ meaning that studio A24 can remain independent and produce other content, meet existing deals in place with Direct TV and Amazon and act without restriction.
A24: Young and Pioneering
Compared to older established studios, A24 is new as it was founded in 2012. However, the independent studio has made a name for itself with numerous successes. In the last three years, A24 has released numerous films that garnered Oscar nominations and surprisingly, more box office successes, competing head to head with well known, large Hollywood film companies. While A24 does not specialize like Disney’s high budget, elaborate worldwide productions or intellectual films by other independent or smaller studios, it has established its own niche of prestigious films loved by audiences and critics alike.
A24 Is Raking in the Oscar Nominations
Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2016. A surprising sleeper hit in 2017, Lady Bird won five Oscar nominations. Other acclaimed films include Ex Machina, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project, It Comes at Night, The Witch and more in just the past three years alone. A24 has also partnered with major media companies for theatrical releases while remaining completely independent.
Apple Invests $1 Billion in Original Content and New Shows
For a while now, Apple has been rumored to be creating its own streaming video service, with the service expected to go live in 2019, using the Apple TV app and available in over 100 countries. Apple’s new service is expected to be family-friendly content. Several shows have already been lined up, including an untitled series based upon a morning show involving Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, Defending Jacob, a story featuring Chris Evans and a revival of Time Bandits, the popular 1980s fantasy film by Terry Gilliam.
The timing of the new agreement is interesting as large media consolidations are happening everywhere. AT&T got federal court approval to acquire Time Warner. Comcast attempted to win over 21st Century Fox with an all cash offer, but was bested by Disney who acquired Fox, becoming a 70 billion mega Hollywood company with a slew of known box-office hits. Streaming services will be competitive, as Disney now has its own Disney+ channel arriving in late 2019, as it severs its ties with Netflix and Amazon.