May 19, 2020
As upstart subscription streaming video services go, Apple TV+ remains largely under the radar. Launching just 10 days ahead of Disney+ last November, the $4.99 SVOD service boasted 30 original programs, scant catalog content and reportedly has about 10 million subscribers. Apple gives a free year of service with any hardware purchase.
Now the Cupertino, Calif.-based CE giant is reportedly looking to beef up its content portfolio with catalog content, according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the situation. Despite about $200 billion in free cash at the end of 2019, Apple didn’t get into bidding for coveted TV series such as “Friends,” “The Office,” “Seinfeld” or “The Simpsons.”
With coronavirus quarantines continuing in many parts of the country, Apple is realizing the value of enhanced program offerings in the home. The company has reportedly begun contacting production companies about catalog TV shows and movies to backup original programming, which includes the launch of animated adult series “Central Park” on May 29, and documentaries “Dear” and “Dads” in June.
Original series,”The Morning Show,” co-starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, earned Aniston her first SAG Award.
In an interview last month with Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted the COVID-19 pandemic had expanded the market for new Apple TV + subscribers spending more time in the home.
“The pandemic cut both ways,” he said.