Rumor: Apple (kinda) considered buying Time Warner last year

Apple considered a buyout of Time Warner in late 2015, with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services raising the idea at a meeting with Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy, Olaf Olafsson, reports The Financial Times. 

It didn’t pan out, but Apple is still interested in acquiring media company talent, the article adds. Unnamed sources told The Financial Times that company is ramping spending on original content: “several hundred million dollars a year.”

What do we know about Apple's rumored TV service, which I call Apple Web TV? The Wall Street Times said last October that Apple was in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks that will be available on Apple gadgets such as the Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. The service will reportedly have about 25 channels and cost between US$30 and $40 per month. 

Apple’s Web TV offering will reportedly be anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, but won’t include smaller channels typically included in a standard cable TV package. If the WSJ is right, Apple’s new service may have one channel that may have folks who’ve been hesitant to cancel their cable or satellite service doing just that. ESPN. Disney and Viacom are also reported to be in discussions for inclusion in the Apple Web TV service.

In January TheStreet claimed that Apple is looking to product original content for its upcoming TV streaming service a la Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  The Cupertino, California-based company began sounding out Hollywood's creative community late last year, but has yet to sign any agreements, the article says, quoting two unnamed people with knowledge of the overtures.” Reportedly, one plan is to have deals in place so Apple can announce exclusive content as part of a cable-like offering in September, when it is expected to unveil its iPhone 7.

The rumor mill says the original plan was for Apple Web TV to launch aside the fourth gen Apple TV. That didn’t happen, apparently because the company couldn’t hammer out deals with various TV networks and companies.