Netflix is undeniably king in the arena of streaming video, and the rising number of cord-cutters in recent years means that Netflix will almost certainly be a major player in the TV game moving forward. The company spends billions of dollars on original series and has crafted some of the most popular and talked-about television series in recent memory, ranging from Marvel comic book adaptations to Stranger Things. Now, it seems that Apple could be poised to buy Netflix in a deal that will likely have many people going "WTF?"
Yes, Apple could be shelling out the big bucks to purchase Netflix due to an upcoming influx of funds that was not previously available. Citi analysts have deduced that there is a 40% chance that Apple will indeed acquire the streaming giant due to the recent change to tax law. Donald Trump's corporate tax cut was passed back in December, and the details of the plan will make it possible for Apple to make a huge purchase like that of Netflix.
The cut in corporate taxes is only one factor stemming from the tax deal out of Washington that could allow Apple to make a move on Netflix. The deal's one-time allowance for companies to bring money back into the United States from overseas storage without heavy taxation means that Apple can bring a lot of cash into the country. Business Insider reports that Apple has approximately $252 billion in cash, much of which the company could not previously bring back to the U.S. without heavy taxation.
Over 90% of Apple's cash has reportedly been sitting overseas, and a repatriation tax of only 10% would result in $220 billion that can be used, and Apple has been trying to get into the TV game successfully for a while. The influx of cash combined with the appeal of Netflix could very well result in a buy from Apple.
Of course, Apple was an early player in the digital video market with iTunes offerings for movies and television, but streaming services like Netflix have been edging out the appeal of downloading individual episodes. More recently, Apple has been working to gain a foothold in TV outside of iTunes. Back in August of 2017, news broke that Apple was prepared to spend $1 billion on original TV shows. A couple of months later, we learned that Apple was collaborating with Steve Spielberg to reboot Amazing Stories.
Apple also landed a couple of very big showbiz names for another show, which would be a scripted drama about morning TV shows starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and already scored a two-season order. Throw in Apple's straight-to-series order for a space drama from the man who brought Battlestar Galactica and Outlander to life, and it's safe to say that Apple has been making strides toward more TV offerings.
If Apple does go through with buying Netflix, it will be arguably the biggest deal since news broke of Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox. We'll have to wait and see what happens next. Netflix has plenty in store for the new year, and you can find when shows are slated to hit the airwaves on our 2018 Netflix premiere guide. If you're still in the market for broadcast and cable TV, swing by our midseason TV premiere guide.