To better compete with Netflix, Disney+ and others, Apple TV+ is building a back catalog of non-original movies available to watch for free.
- What’s happening? Apple TV+ is currently offering several older movies to stream for free to its subscribers in the United States.
- Why care? Apple TV+ now has a back catalog for the first time.
- What to do? Watch the free movies before they disappear from the platform.
Apple TV+ back catalog lands 20 free movies
So far, Apple TV+ has lacked an extensive back catalog but that seems to be changing. TechRadar reports that Apple licensed older shows and movies to create a back catalog that could better compete with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and other video-streaming services. The movies are available for streaming on Apple TV+ to subscribers in the United States at no additional charge.
The offering is unavailable outside the United States, which could indicate that we’re in the early innings of this experiment. These flicks, not made by Apple Original Films, aren’t necessarily old Hollywood classics from the 1960s. The report doesn’t make it clear what studios Apple might partner with on the initiative.
Some of the films you can watch for free with a US Apple TV+ subscription:
- “Hunger Games series”
- “Man on Fire”
- “Old School”
- “Van Wilder”
This isn’t the definitive list as other non-originals are currently available.
A total of 20 films have landed on the service, with the Jennifer Lawrence hit “Silver Linings Playbook,” Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” and the Coen Brothers’ classic “The Hudsucker Proxy” also among the movies available to watch for free for Apple TV Plus subscribers until November 30.
Expect more movies and TV shows not filmed by Apple to hit its video-streaming platform in the future as the company negotiates more such deals with studios.
To stream any of these films for free, use the search function in the TV app. Apple also suggests third-party movies when browsing originals such as “Spirited,” “Mythic Quest,” “Causeway” and a few others.
So that’s why Apple TV+ boosted the subscription price
Bloomberg reported in 2020 that Apple wanted to buy older shows and movies to boost the value proposition for the Apple TV+ service.
“The company’s video-programming executives have taken pitches from Hollywood studios about licensing older content for TV+ and have bought some shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg reporters Lucas Shaw and Mark Gurman learned more than two years ago.
— iDownloadBlog (@iDownloadBlog) November 23, 2022
Apple TV+ started out as a place for exclusive originals so this is a bit of a change in strategy. Of course, Apple will need to really step up those efforts given the huge content libraries that are available on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and others.
So if Apple is serious about building out a back catalog, it will need to bring hundreds if not thousands of older shows to the platform, especially huge franchises and blockbusters.
How much is Apple TV+?
Apple TV costs $7/month after a free seven-day trial. At the debut, the service cost $5/month because it only had a few shows and movies. Apple recently increased the asking price of Apple Music, Apple TV+ and some of its other services.
By comparison, Netflix began at $8/month but now customers must fork out $10/month for its Basic plan. Netflix also offers an ad-supported plan for $7/month which restricts picture quality to the sub-par 720p resolution.
Disney+ will raise the monthly subscription price from $8 to $11 on December 8. The service debuted at $7/month. The monthly price for Hulu also went up, with the ad-free service jumping from $13 to $15 and the ad-supported tier from $7 to $8.
Apple TV+ is also included in the Apple One bundle plans, starting at $16.95/month. And if you buy a new Apple device like an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV, the company will treat you to three free months of Apple TV+. A single subscription can be shared with up to five additional people in your Family Sharing circle.