Apple is making TV shows of its own, that much we’ve known for quite a while now. But don’t expect any of Apple’s original creations to hit Apple Music (or is it iTunes?) anytime soon. A new report says that Apple is working on no less than 12 different titles, but they won’t launch earlier than March 2019.
Meanwhile, competitors such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO will be busy releasing new shows this year, with Netflix likely to have the most number of original shows of the bunch. After all, Netflix is spending $8 billion on original programming this year alone, and introduces dozens of new shows every month.
If you think Apple’s late start is the only bad news coming out from The New York Times, then get some popcorn.
Apparently, Apple’s strategy for original programming has been to keep “its bright, optimistic brand identity.” That means Apple might not pursue “dark” projects, or projects that are “heavy on the social issues.”
In fact, Apple has already parted ways with Bryan Fuller, who was supposed to serve as executive producer on Steven Spielberg’s revamped Amazing Stories show. That’s because Amblin Television, Apple, and Universal Television viewed his vision for the series as “too dark” and too expensive. Seven weeks after his departure, he hasn’t been replaced. What’s clear is that Apple isn’t in a hurry to launch TV shows that people really want to watch — after all, Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke aren’t exactly must-watch television.
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston will star in a show about morning talk show hosts. The series was purchased four months ago, but it still doesn’t have a script. A first draft will arrive this week.
Finally, there’s one other mildly disturbing detail in the Times’ piece. Apple apparently doesn’t plan to follow Netflix’s high-volume strategy. I’m all for quality vs. quantity, but Netflix has been able to achieve both.
Apple certainly has the budget to go against Netflix or anyone else, and has hired two former Sony execs who made their names with shows like Breaking Bad while at Sony — that’s Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. But how competitive can an Apple streaming service be with just a few shows ready to roll out in 2019?