Warren Buffett is skeptical of Apple’s entertainment play

By

Buffett
Warren Buffet is Apple's biggest investor.
Photo: CNBC

Mega-investor Warren Buffett doesn’t sound too confident in Apple’s ability to dominate the entertainment industry.

The Oracle of Omaha said in a recent interview that there are so many big players trying to grab eyeballs in the streaming industry that he wouldn’t want to play that game himself. Even though he’s not gung ho on Apple’s TV service, he also doesn’t sound worried if Apple doesn’t knock it out of the park.

“I’d love to see them succeed, but that’s a company that can afford a mistake or two,” Buffett said on CNBC. “You don’t want to buy stock in the company that has to do everything right. Apple should do some things that don’t work.”

Apple’s big entertainment push

Buffett’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is the largest investor in Apple. The company currently owns 5.5% of Apple after reducing its stake in the iPhone-maker earlier this year. Despite Buffet’s skepticism, he still views Apple as a good investment going forward because Apple is about much more than just services.

Competing for people’s time and attention will be Apple’s biggest obstacle to success, according to Buffett. There are so many major companies entering the TV streaming business but people still only have a limited amount of time to watch content.

“You’ve got some very big players who are going to fight over those eyeballs,” Buffett said. “You have very smart people with lots of resources trying to figure out how to grab another half hour of your time.”

Warren does have a strong point. Disney, Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Hulu and other are all making great original TV shows that will be competing with Apple’s slate of shows. Will some people risk wasting hours watching See when they could watch Disney’s new Star Wars TV show The Mandolorian or some other series they’re already familiar with?

Buffett also didn’t say that he thinks Apple’s streaming service will be a failure. Apple money to burn along with some of the most talented people in Hollywood backing. The company reportedly spent more than $1 billion on its first year of shows, but that’s just a drop in the bucket from the company’s massive pile of cash.

If anyone can buy their way into the market, it’s Apple. And if anyone can afford to crash and burn buying their way into the market, it’s Apple.