Report: Apple to beef up Apple TV+ catalog with licensed content

The 'originals only' approach is apparently not enough.

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A new report from Bloomberg claims that Apple is changing up its strategy for the  Apple TV+ streaming service. Until now, Apple has pitched the service as only for original content you can’t find anywhere else. Now, according to the report, the company will bolster its original series and movies with a bit of licensed content.

We recently did a six-month check-in with the service, which launched on November 1, 2019. After watching nearly everything Apple TV+ offers, we concluded that the overall quality is fine, and the price is competitive ($4.99 a month and a year free with most new Apple device purchases), but the volume of content makes it hard to justify.

Competitors, from Netflix to Hulu to Disney+ to upcoming services like HBO Max and Peacock, make their name on original content but add value with tens of thousands of hours of licensed content. 

The report cites “people familiar with the matter” and states that Apple has taken pitches from Hollywood studios about licensing older content. The company has bought some shows and movies, but don’t expect a massive catalog of hits. The report clarifies that Apple TV+ will remain focused on original shows and movies, and that Apple has not yet licensed any “huge franchises or blockbusters.” 

The report does not state when Apple would add its licensed content to the service, but it does say that Apple TV+ had about 10 million subscribers in January, only about half of which were active users. This puts it miles behind rivals like Netflix and Disney+.

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