With just over two weeks to go until the launch of Apple TV+, The Hollywood Reporter today shared a deep dive into the service’s history. The new report reiterates that the majority of projects coming out of Apple TV+ will reflect Apple’s aspirational company brand — a move that has led to behind-the-scenes drama for shows like Amazing Stories and the shelved Vital Signs.
Despite previous reports, Apple TV+ will not solely focus on family-friendly content; as long as explicit content serves the story, Apple will approve of the project. Still, Apple is steering the platform to be headlined by its so-called aspirational brand identity, putting the brakes on an “edgy, high-concept” version of Amazon Stories in favor of one with an aspirational viewpoint told by Once Upon A Time’s Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
In addition to the $1 billion annual content budget Apple allotted for Apple TV+ (which Apple is believed to have overshot), the company is said to be offering every showrunner and series regular a free Apple product. According to today’s report, Apple has dispatched representatives to Apple TV+ show sets to “take orders” regarding which style of iPhone or iPad the crew would like.
As the launch nears, the behind-the-scenes of Apple TV+ has been chaotic, according to multiple sources. Particularly, the company has struggled with arranging early critic and tastemaker screenings, which can help promote early buzz for launch shows like The Morning Show and See. According to one unnamed publicist, Apple is treating the TV+ rollout like a product launch and not a TV service launch, leading to some unrest.
One issue that numerous sources brought up was Apple TV+’s lack of a large back catalog, which will look particularly troublesome for the company alongside Disney+ and its hundreds of hours of TV and movies dating back to the 1930’s. As expected, analysts suggest Apple will acquire a content creator to address this issue in the future, suggesting such companies like MGM, Lionsgate, Sony, and A24.
Apple has also begun work on funding its own content through a new “Masters” internal production studio, the first project for which will be a follow-up to HBO’s Brand of Brothers and The Pacific series called Masters of the Air. With its own studio, Apple will wholly own all of the shows and movies it creates, instead of having to work with other partners like Amblin Television.
You can read The Hollywood Reporter‘s full story here: “Inside Apple’s Long, Bumpy Road to Hollywood”