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Report: Apple TV Plus Boosts Library, Purchases Older TV Shows, Movies

Fern Siegel

Apple TV+ has had success with its originals, such as “Dickinson” and “The Morning Show,” but to compete with its giant rivals — Netflix and Disney+ — it needs to shore up its content library.

In fact, it has only 30 original movies on its site, a tiny fraction of what’s needed to sustain long-term viewers. After all, its competition has thousands of shows to access.

That means acquiring older content for the streamer. Sources say Apple TV+ has already bought inventory, various movies and TV shows, Bloomberg reports. Titles and dates have not been released.

The reason for the buying spree is user numbers — Apple TV+ wants to increase its subscription base. Ten million people signed up, as of February; only half were regular users, Bloomberg notes.

Conversely, Disney+ has passed the 50 million-subscriber mark, while Netflix has nearly 70 million subscribers in the U.S. alone.

And while no known blockbuster titles are part of Apple’s private negotiations, the focus remains original fare, such as the deal cut yesterday for an untitled four-part docuseries from Brian Lazarte and James Lee Hernandez (“McMillion$”).

Prior to the decision to buy older content, Apple also tried a subscription route for Starz, Showtime and HBO. But the mix of old and new, which is the formula adopted by Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, seems to be a successful templates for streamers, even if show like “Friends,” “The Office” or “Seinfeld” are off the table.

One plus for Apple TV+ is cost. It runs $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. That’s less than half of Netflix’s cheapest option.

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