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Apple doubles its office space in L.A. to fight the streaming wars

Apple is expanding its SoCal real estate presence—and it’s not in Cupertino.

Apple doubles its office space in L.A. to fight the streaming wars
[Source Images: Apple; Chiradech/iStock]

Apple said Friday that it’s expanding its office space on the border of Los Angeles and Culver City, California—the site of its Apple TV+ headquarters—to roughly twice its former size, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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The project’s mockup shows two sleek, adjoining mid-rise buildings constructed of glass and warm wood. It will add more than 550,000 square feet to the Cupertino, California-based company’s real estate, which was a bigger expansion than observers expected. A head of market analytics at Raise Commercial Real Estate told the Los Angeles Times that it was a “bold” move.

[Rendering: courtesy of Apple]
But as trends go, Apple appears to be going toe-to-toe with the major players in streaming. Netflix, HBO, and Amazon have all been gobbling up property around Hollywood in recent years. Last year, Netflix unveiled its new 3.5 acre creative campus in the show biz capital, putting it on track to have the largest footprint in the city. Meanwhile, Amazon is set to complete its takeover of the historic Culver Studios—the production home of classics Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane, and E.T.—some time this year. HBO has also staked a claim in Culver City, with a set of offices in a $350 million complex that will house the company’s West Coast headquarters.

Real estate aside, Apple still has a lot of catching up to do: Many industry experts say Netflix is still winning the streaming wars, in terms of subscriber count and the overall size and popularity of its content library. However, close behind are Amazon’s Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and Hulu, all of which are tough competition for Apple’s streaming bid. Still, Apple does have Ted Lasso in its streaming arsenal—winner of the 2021 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series plus six other Emmys, not to mention a host of earlier awards.

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The tech giant currently has more than 1,500 employees in its Los Angeles and Culver City offices, including the Apple TV+ and Apple Music divisions, as well as engineers working on artificial intelligence and machine learning. It has said it aims to grow those offices to 3,000 employees by 2026.

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