The Wall Street Journal today reported that Apple is on the hunt for a production campus in Los Angeles, as it continues investment in original content production.
The site could exceed half a million square feet in area and would primarily contain soundstages for Apple TV+ productions to shoot on. The production hub would be in addition to the existing soundstage spaces it rents around the world.
Owning permanent production stages has become critical for streaming services as the available soundstages to rent are regularly booked up months in advance.
In order to keep the content production farms ticking over without delays, streaming companies are increasing buying up large sites for their own exclusive use.
The Journal says an Apple retail executive named Mike Mosallam joined in January 2021 to lead its soundstage expansion.
Apple already occupies a significant 128,000 square feet facility in the prestigious Culver City region, which is currently being renovated with an eye to becoming the Apple TV+ head office (pictured above). It will initially house about 1000 employees there. In April, Apple said that number will grow to 3000 by 2026.
With no back-catalog library, the Apple TV+ content offering is dwarfed by all of its streaming rivals, at least in terms of total title count. However, the company is gradually building a premium collection of high-quality original TV shows and movies to attract subscribers.
The land investments are another indicator about how serious Apple’s ambitions are for original content. There have also been persistent rumors that Apple may acquire existing studios to bolster its efforts, including movie-house A24, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, and vague allusions that Apple TV+ may expand into live sports by streaming NFL Sunday Ticket games.