Apple Takes U-Turn, Reportedly Buying Older Shows For Apple TV+ Catalog As Service Crosses 10 Million Subscribers
Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, has been doing relatively well in its debut year. It’s made up entirely of first-party content, but that looks set to change according to a new Bloomberg report.
According to that report Apple TV+ is now buying older shows to allow the service to better compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, having already surpassed 10 million subscribers. Previously company wanted Apple TV+ to be all about original content.
The company’s video-programming executives have taken pitches from Hollywood studios about licensing older content for TV+ and have bought some shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter.
Netflix is a great example of what Apple TV+ appears to be considering. Netflix has some huge hits on its own books, tagged as Netflix Originals. But that hasn’t stopped some of its most popular shows being older back catalog content that was shown on TVs years ago. Apple previously decided not to go that route, but there seems to have been a change of heart.
The move represents a subtle strategy shift for Apple TV+, which launched in November with a lineup of original programs. The company plans to keep TV+ focused on original shows, and hasn’t yet acquired any huge franchises or blockbusters for its back catalog, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
Apple TV+ normally costs subscribers $4.99 per month, but Apple offered all new buyers of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TV devices a free year during the service’s launch. Those free years will be coming to a close starting this November and Apple will want to give users a reason to start paying after that point. A larger media library is definitely one way to do exactly that.