Apple is committed to spending billions on original TV content over the next 5 years. Does that mean we’re going to get the killer shows we’ve all been looking forward to? According to this analysis, signs point to, “Uh-oh.”
It Sounds like Apple’s original content is going to be really, really bad
by Jonathan Sheiber
Last year, an investor projected that Apple would be spending up to $4.2 billion on original content by 2022, but if the reports coming out now about what that content will look like are correct, the company may want its money back.
A new Wall Street Journal article highlights some of the tensions that Apple faces as it looks to create a streaming media service in the age of Handmaid’s Tale, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
To set the table, The Journal walked readers through some of the issues Tim Cook apparently had with Vital Signs, a title the company had acquired loosely based on the biography of rap legend (and former head of the billion dollar Apple acquisition, Beats) Dr. Dre.
Reportedly, after Cook saw scenes including a mansion orgy, white lines, and drawn guns the Apple chief put the kibosh on the whole production saying it was too violent and not something that Apple can air.
For Apple’s content business, gratuitous profanity, sex or violence are all verboten as the company tries to thread the needle between being a widely beloved producer of high quality consumer goods and purveyor of paid entertainment to a public that’s increasingly enthralled with blood and gore at its circuses.
In other words, Apple’s mores seem a little misplaced.
There’s a problem for Apple as it tries to stitch together a studio while limiting itself to the entertainment equivalent of cream of wheat. Plenty of other other technology companies are gunning for that number one slot and studios are fighting for their very survival.
Money may talk in Hollywood, but creative control, ensuring an audience for a show, and the continued viability of programming also have their place. Creators may find that they’re far more comfortable wrapped in a quilt that has more varied programming where their shows may be buoyed by the success of other, darker programming that appeals to a broader audience….