Apple’s original programming efforts will be free for those who own its devices, be it an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, according to a new report. That marks a shift in the approach it has taken until now, with the two reality series – Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series – exclusive to Apple Music subscribers. It would be a good way to get a foot in the streaming-service door, and the report adds that Apple is also on the lookout for big ‘tentpole’ franchises that could headline a subscription-based offering in the near future.
People familiar with the matter told CNBC that Apple is essentially going to copy Amazon’s Prime Video Channel subscriptions format available in the US and the UK. Via its in-built ‘TV’ app, Apple will provide access to its original content and content from other “legacy media companies” such as HBO. That way, Apple users wouldn’t have to download separate apps for each provider. Apple’s TV app is currently only available in 10 countries. India is not one of them, and hence it’s unclear if or how the TV shows will be released here.
Apple will roll out the new TV app “early next year”, sources told CNBC, though Apple declined to comment on the matter. Nearly two dozen projects, excluding season 2 of Carpool Karaoke, have been greenlit by Apple and are in the works. These include a reboot of Amazing Stories from Once Upon a Time creators, a morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and a space drama called For All Mankind from Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore.
Then there’s thriller drama Are You Sleeping starring Octavia Spencer, Lizzy Caplan, and Aaron Paul, a drama series from La La Land director Damien Chazelle, immigrant anthology series Little America from Kumail Nanjiani, a thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, coming-of-age comedy series Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld, and an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram.
One thing they all have in common is Apple’s heavy emphasis on family-friendly programming, meaning there will be no sex or violence in these TV shows. Apple is reportedly spending $1 billion on original content in 2018, which is expected to hit a total of $4.2 billion by 2022.