Apple is making a deeper push into producing its own stable of original TV shows, but it probably won’t compete with originals being produced by Netflix or Amazon. At the CODE Media conference today, SVP Eddy Cue explained that the company would be focused on creating content that is different from the competition and takes advantage of its music platform.
Apple’s entrance into original TV content is an unscripted reality TV show called Planet of the Apps. That show hopes to leverage the star power of celebrities like Will.i.am and Jessica Alba while leaning on tech stalwarts like Product Hunt and Lightspeed Venture Partners to give it some Silicon Valley cred.
In both cases, the shows will debut through Apple Music, the company’s subscription music service. According to Cue, who heads up media strategy at Apple, the production of its new series followed efforts the company had taken to create exclusive video content for Drake and other artists.
The creativity of those projects led Apple to think about how it could produce and distribute shows in new and interesting ways. “The things we’re trying to do aren’t being done by anyone else,” Cue said. “We’re trying to do something that’s unique, that takes advantage of our platform.”
Distributing the content through Apple Music is one way the company could get more people signed up to the service. About 18 months in — and 15 months after free trials ended — Cue said Apple Music is the fastest-growing subscription service the company knows about, with more than 20 million subscribers.
The shows will be available Apple TV, Watch or PS, as well as on the iPhone or iPad, but the company also hopes to experiment with other ways of viewing the content.
Ben Silverman, whose company Propagate Content is producing Planet of the Apps and who shared the stage with Cue, said the show will also come with an app that will provide a more immersive experience.
During the session, Cue said the nature of how people view content is evolving. “I think the thing we can all agree on today is that it’s changing,” he said. He also noted that the idea of watching TV, by itself is becoming more and more archaic.
Apple is just the latest tech company to go beyond just distributing content to actually investing in licensing and producing its own shows or movies. That trend started with Netflix, which had long been a distributor before creating its own slate of originals, including shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Amazon joined the club with the launch of shows like Transparent and Man in the High Castle.
In both cases, however, the move toward originals meant the distributors became competitive with the studios and networks it licensed content from. With Apple, that will be less of a problem, since it’s not trying to produce highly produced scripted shows.