Apple needs to buy a production house like A24, Lionsgate, or Sony Pictures: Analyst

Apple must get serious and acquire a movie production company or the tech giant will not succeed as a services business, noted analyst Dan Ives told CNBC on Wednesday.

Apple should look into buying independent A24, or a bigger entertainment company such as Sony Pictures or Lionsgate, suggested the managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities. “If they’re not aggressive in M&A from a content perspective … this will be, in our opinion, the biggest mistake that [CEO Tim Cook] and Apple has made, because that’s the way that the services flywheel is going to work in terms of the install base.”

With plans to jump into the crowded pool of online video, Apple is rumored to be launching its own streaming services as soon as March. The venture would allow the iPhone maker to enter an key market as it focuses more on providing subscription services and compete with established video providers like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu.

Last year, Apple announced a multiyear deal with A24, a New York-based production company, that plans to make movies and TV shows for Apple device owners. Apple obtained worldwide rights to “The Elephant Queen,” a documentary directed by Emmy-Award winning filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble, in September. It also cut a deal, according to Variety, with director-producer Justin Lin for TV content.

“The clock has struck midnight for Apple in terms of content,” Ives said on “Squawk Alley.”

Apple did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Shares of Apple were lower at midday on Monday. The stock has been working to recover ever since losing about 10 percent after cutting its fiscal first quarter guidance earlier this month.

Apple’s last major acquisition was a $400 million purchase of song-identification app Shazam in December 2017, which followed the $3 billion acquisition of Beat Electronics in 2014.

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