Apple TV+ Acquires Old TV Shows and Movies to Build Library (Report)

Apple’s “originals-only” streaming service launched last November

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 @ 9:09 AM

Apple is pivoting its strategy for Apple TV+ by acquiring older movies and TV shows for the streaming service to build up a library beyond its originals.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s streaming execs have been in talks with studios to license older titles for Apple TV+ and have already purchased some films and series, none of which are considered “huge franchises or blockbusters.”

Representatives for Apple TV+ did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Apple TV+ launched last November with eight original series, including the Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon drama “The Morning Show” and one documentary film. Apple had promoted the streaming service, which costs subscribers $4.99 a month, as the first “originals-only” platform and, according to Bloomberg, the company wants to keep its focus on original content while buying up existing IP for a library that can better compete with the giant catalogs available on Netflix, Hulu and Disney+.

Up until now, Apple has avoided getting into bidding wars for the rights to classic titles like “Seinfeld,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Friends,” “The Office” and “South Park,” so the service is currently home to just a few dozen Apple originals, including the recently launched Chris Evans-led drama “Defending Jacob.”

Unlike its streaming competitors, Apple views its own streaming strategy as just one pillar of a larger building. The company has been giving away a free year of Apple TV+ to anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad or computer, which should have led to a large pool of customers at the outset who will sample their programming.

But since its launch, the tech giant has yet to reveal anything about how many people are actually watching the service.

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