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Understanding Apple’s Future TV Strategy [OPINION]


Understanding Apple’s Future TV Strategy [OPINION]

Talk of Apple’s imminent move into original content has been gathering pace … and with the company’s first two properties already out of the bag – now more than ever feels like the right time to delve deeper into the firm’s proposed strategy for content, going forward.

When I announced the rebrand of RazorianFly to RAZMAG at the beginning of the month, this is exactly the type of ‘swerve’ in content strategy that prefaced the decision.

Over the last several days I have seen many in the tech industry throw serious shade at the news of Apple’s plan to create original shows for Apple Music, yet none seem to acknowledge the blatant convergence that is so obviously becoming apparent.

The Convergence

“Why is Apple creating reality TV shows?,” some say. “They should stick to what they know,” others wrote … “This will never work” … “it’s a bad idea” … “they should stop now” …

All forgetting that Apple, alongside being in the business of mobile and desktop computing, is working to build a platform of culture. One that serves the industry, whilst also profiting from it.

The lines are merging

Apple, Inc, a Silicon Valley hot-shot once focused on personal computing and more recently focused on the software and features that power its army of next-generation, mobile computing devices, is becoming a media company … with a global reach.

A company that will -under the leadership and direction of CEO Tim Cook– fully embrace the glittering lights of Hollywood, and the magicians and celebrities that power it, in the hopes of forging an “exclusive” members-only club built on the culture it feeds.

Celebrity is Everything

For in this new social/digital age, celebrity is the alpha and omega. They help to forge -and then sell– culture to the mainstream. They are the new idols of Babylon, and Apple’s streaming platform – Apple Music – is the all-worshiping temple.

The goal? – To position itself as the ruling gatekeeper to success.

First, that gate was open to musicians. Mavericks and rebels in their bedrooms creating the next wave of big vibes … and with the help of its 24/7 station, Beats 1, Apple has successfully catapulted the likes of The 1975, The Weeknd, Kiiara and others to stardom.

Now it’s about to open that same rose gold-encrusted gate to app developers, with its brand new show: Planet of the Apps.

Set to make its debut this Spring, the show will act as Apple’s missing conduit to make app developers the rockstars of tomorrow.

With the promise of a game-changing funding opportunity at the end of it -alongside featured placement on the App Store- the show will introduce a yet-to-be-initiated and willing audience into the world of app development, while further drawing them into the app ecosystem that it powers.

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The Celebrities of Tomorrow

Let’s be clear: Planet of the Apps was not meant to be watched by developers. They will make up the show’s main focus, yes.

But that’s not the target audience.

Instead, Planet of the Apps was designed for a wholly mainstream audience whose perception of what it is to be a ‘celebrity’ has already been formed through the modern reality TV paradigm.

Deals such as those that will eventually play out publicly on Apple’s new TV show are being made in the boardrooms of high-profile Venture Capital firms all the time, usually behind closed doors.

But by putting developers in front of the camera -and introducing a time-sensitive ‘escalator’ sales pitch– Apple is staying true to the hype that has for so long surrounded its elusive, secretive brand — while also doing what the series’ just released (and highly-americanised) show reel promises … to make developers the new icons of a generation just beginning to discover what “code” is.

The celebrities of tomorrow.

What is perhaps so interesting about Apple’s planned swerve into original video content, though, is not what it will eventually do to developers (per-se) – but the circle that it will eventually complete.

How It Used To Be …

Once upon a time, Apple found itself knocking on the doors of music executives with the hopes of securing future music deals and artist contracts for iTunes. Then it bought Beats… and with it gained the keys to the entire industry.

Now, the industry looking to sell music to the masses wants the exposure Apple can create, and with the allure of Beats 1 and the station’s reach to listeners in over 100 countries in the wings … it’s working.

… and you can bet that, come this Spring, budding developers looking to be the next rockstars of the App Store will be vying for the same ‘celebrity’ treatment.

Not only does this shift place the company in complete control of this future video content, but it will also result in double the profit.

In order to watch the shows that will result from the company’s move into original content, users must first subscribe to Apple Music – starting at $9.99/mo.

Of course, the offer of 3-months free for new members will help drive numbers up – as will a 50% discount for students, but ultimately it will be the ‘episodic’ nature of these shows that (I predict) will result in retained user subscriptions.

Why It Will Work

Those already entrenched in the products of the industry, the fandom, care little about what those in the tech industry think of them. It is for this reason that Apple’s move into original content will work.

Not because I want it to, not because you want – or don’t want – it to, but because the majority of those who watch so-called ‘reality TV’ today are already hooked on the format it so openly parades.

And like it or not, that format works.

Whether it’s the latest goings on with the Kardashians, getting famous people to sing along to popular songs in a car, finding the next big music act, or getting to know the team of developers behind the App Store’s next future smash.

Looking Forward

Apple is buying into Hollywood’s culture in an effort to create an unstoppable, social wave … one that, I predict, will see its ripples eventually radiate into all sectors of what we refer to as “pop-culture” today.

And at its heart? – The ecosystem … a place for subscribers to go to not only watch and experience this new initiative first hand and for themselves, but also the place for them to purchase the beared fruits of it.

/ Image Credit: Source (Hollywood Sign)

In an attempt to merge the worlds of music, design and journalism, Arron is perhaps best known for founding online news brand: RazorianFly; a hobby which grew to attract a monthly audience of 120K.

Today he can be found designing and writing for whilst also managing #THEHOTLIST - a weekly updating playlist of the hottest new artists, now streaming on Apple Music.

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Perhaps best known for founding online news brand RazorianFly, Cheshire digital creative Arron Hirst lives for discovering new artists.
Experimenting in alt-synth vibes through his own side project - STARRHINO, today his focus is rooted in the user's experience.

A weekly updating playlist full of the hottest breaking vibes. Now streaming — Only on MUSIC.

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