When CODA won the Oscar for best picture on Sunday, it handed a huge victory to Tim Cook and his Apple+ streaming platform. After all, Cook "triumphed just two and a half years after formally entering the film and TV business," writes Matthew Belloni at Puck. He trumped streaming rivals Netflix and Amazon, which have been at this far longer. "Even Steve Jobs would be mildly impressed," writes Belloni. And for the cynics who say Cook simply opened the Apple vaults and bought himself an Oscar, well, it's just not so, according to Belloni. If it were that easy, Jeff Bezos would have gotten there first. So how did Cook pull this off? The answer is a complicated one, and Belloni offers an in-depth look. For one thing, the movie about a hearing teen in a deaf home fits neatly into Apple's "curated" mix of uplifting shows and movies (that's Cook's vision for it).
Contrast that with the perception that Netflix is more of a "factory" of content seen as an "800-pound gorilla in awards campaigning." Then there's the "Apple brand halo"—the love of the company among Hollywood types. A good part of the piece deals with how Apple navigated buying up the global rights to the film (or a good number of them) after it debuted at Sundance. It was a tricky feat that involves the "pre-sale" model for indie films—selling rights in advance to foreign distributors in order to make enough to create the movie, and hoping they're flexible enough to sell those rights back to a buyer such as Apple. It's a tangled mix of factors. So, yes, the filmmakers and stars obviously deserve their due. But it's Cook's "handling of Hollywood that most allowed this moment to happen," writes Belloni. Read the full piece. (Read more Apple Plus stories.)