Apple’s original content strategy sounds like it’s starting to veer into infomercial territory.
After announcing the scripted series Vital Signs starring company executive Dr. Dre — which is reported to be more of a marketing vehicle for Apple Music than a full-on foray into original content — followed by The Score, a docuseries by VICE that will be accompanied by Apple Music playlists, Apple’s latest TV series is a deep dive into the fascinating world of … mobile apps?
The company’s first original TV show will be a nonscripted series about the app economy, according to The New York Times. It is being created by the musician (and Beats co-founder) Will.i.am alongside veteran television execs Ben Silverman and Howard Owens.
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Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet software and services, told the Times that the unscripted series did not mean Apple was seeking to bolster streaming video efforts in a major way, though he declined to discuss how the show would tie into Apple’s app store as well as the format and release date of the show or how it would be distributed.
While Apple’s previous efforts in video — including the exclusive distribution of Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour Live concert film and a visual radio show by DJ Khaled — have all been in the music realm, the forthcoming TV series marks Apple’s first efforts to promote another one of its popular business avenues. Cue told the Times that future projects would be conceived in a similar vein.
It was initially rumored that Apple was seeking to launch a digital TV subscription service last fall. But negotiations for the service, reportedly priced between $30 and $40 and including channels like ESPN, FX, CBS, FOX, and ABC, currently hit a roadblock amid conflicts about money as well as which channels would be a part of the package.