Apple is reportedly looking for studio space to help power original productions

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Apple has been scouting potential studio lots to create a more centralized production hub to help grow its original streaming offerings, according to The Wall Street Journal reporting.

The potential new complex could be up to 500,000 square feet, according to the WSJ sources.

Apple already leases sound stages throughout the Los Angeles region for shows such as “The Morning Show” and “Ted Lasso” that are available exclusively on its premium streaming service Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ launched in late 2019 and still remains a relatively small part of the streaming wars.

One significant difference is that, unlike larger streamers such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Discovery+, Peacock and Paramount+, Apple TV+ only features content produced for the service — there’s no archive of existing film or TV titles to pick from.

All of these streaming services also feature original, exclusive content or provide to help draw in subscribers, or release select content earlier on the platforms.

Because of the flurry of production on original streaming content, sound stages and backlots are reportedly in high demand in Hollywood, which could drive up prices, so Apple could be attempting to lock in a centralized location at a fixed price that could also share common back office services.

Apple TV+ stumbled early with its very limited library, but has garnered critical attention for some of its series and increased production. It normally charges $4.99 a month for the service, which is one of the lowest priced streaming options, but there are potentially millions of subscribers who haven’t been paying a dime.

Apple originally included a free year of TV+ with select purchases of iPhones and iPads, but that was cut back to 90 days July 1, 2021.

Early adopters who qualified for the program saw that offer extended twice, with the earliest ones now set to expire in July 2021.

Apple then announced a program where paying customers would be credited back $4.99 a month to their Apple accounts, essentially making the service free, though that is set to run out at the end of July.

Apple also introduced Apple One, a bundle starting at $14.99 a month that includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and upgraded iCloud storage space, with each package offering savings overing buying each service separately.

Apple doesn’t release subscriber figures separately, so it’s tricky to figure out how many people are actually subscribed to free or paid Apple TV+ plans and how much revenue that would generate for the company to invest in new content.