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Apple Buys Off-The-Air Movies, TV Shows to Better Challenge Netflix

By Donna Fuscaldo - May 19, 2020 at 11:34AM

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Apple is still focusing on original content but realizes it needs to offer more to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Apple (AAPL 0.88%) has begun to purchase TV shows that are no longer on the air and older movies in an effort to provide more compelling reasons for consumers to subscribe to the Apple TV + service.  

While the iPhone maker is still mainly focused on original programming for Apple TV+, Apple realizes it needs to offer a variety of content to take on the streaming leaders, including Netflix (NFLX -1.85%) and Amazon (AMZN -1.85%), Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

A screen showing different content and a hand holding a remote control.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Apple TV+ has around 30 original shows and movies on its platform, which costs $4.99 a month. Compare this to Netflix, which has thousands of pieces of content users can stream, although Netflix does charge more, coming in at $8.99 a month for its cheapest package.

The move may be necessary for Apple. The sources told Bloomberg that about 10 million people have become customers of Apple TV+ as of February, but only around 5 million use it actively. That's amid the COVID-19 pandemic where shelter in place rules have driven demand for streaming content. With millions of people turning to streaming platforms to kill boredom during the pandemic, Apple is realizing it needs more content to keep users engaged.   Apple is also seeing an uptick in usage and has taken steps to make its service more desirable during the pandemic. Last month, it started letting users watch certain shows for free.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, and Netflix and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$174.55 (0.88%) $1.52
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL
$119.55 (-1.77%) $-2.15
Netflix, Inc. Stock Quote
Netflix, Inc.
NFLX
$241.15 (-1.85%) $-4.54
Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$142.10 (-1.85%) $-2.68
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
GOOG
$120.32 (-1.79%) $-2.19

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