Apple Has Begun Buying Older TV Shows and Movies to Build Apple TV+’s Catalogue

When Apple announced its Apple TV+ streaming service, the company opted to carve its own path by focusing solely on original content. This remained true for many months after the launch in November of last year. However, it appears Apple may be deviating off its initial plan in order to keep up against Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has begun to acquire older TV shows and films to further diversify its Apple TV+ catalogue. Bloomberg’s sources have said that the company has begun taking pitches from Hollywood studios about securing licencing deals. According to those sources, Apple has yet acquired any “huge franchises or blockbusters for its back catalogue”.

Apple could still be preliminarily casting its line to test the waters. As of now Apple TV+ has a considerably much smaller content catalogue when compared to Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Though, Apple does have an advantage over its competition. Apple TV+’s catalogue consists of original content developed solely for the streaming service. Apple also offers its subscriptions for a considerably low $5.99 CAD.

However, original content and a low cost of entry can only take a streaming service so far. As of February, Apple TV+ hit the 10 million subscriber mark. Unfortunately, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg only half that number regularly use the service.

Apple TV+’s direct competitors have found a lot of success in balancing the scales between developing original content and providing their audience with a backlog of licensed content they’d otherwise find on cable TV. Shows like The Office and Friends, the latter of which is moving to HBO Max, became premier titles for Netflix.

Acquiring the licence to TV shows and movies should help bolster Apple TV+’s catalogue. The service is still in its infancy and can evolve over time to meet the expectations of its subscribers.