It was a head-scratcher two weeks ago when it was learned that Apple had decreed that all the original streaming content that was being developed for it would be PG-rated– no sex, violence, drug use, profanity or use of religious or political imagery and topics. Because it was perceived that these projects were Apple’s attempt to take on Netflix and the other streaming services, the idea that Apple was watering its content down didn’t make sense… until now.
Apple is spending $1 billion to develop original content, but it appears that these will be loss leaders. Apple is giving this content away free to users of its devices, including iPhones, iPods, iPads and Apple TV. Users will need a newer version of the TV app, which will be available next year. Users will have the option of adding premium VOD services, like HBO and Starz, in order to have all of their streaming entertainment in one place.
So, because these original programs will be free to anyone with an Apple device, it now makes sense that it has to be safe for all viewers.
Apple has already replaced the original showrunner of the reboot of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’ because they felt the series was coming across “too dark.” They also demanded changes to the Jennifer Aniston/Reese Witherspoon comedy in development, and they outright rejected ‘Vital Signs’, a drama inspired by the life of gangsta rap legend Dr. Dre.
Among the other projects they have in the pipeline are: a new sci-fi series from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘Outlander’ creator Ronald D. Moore; an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ novels from David S. Goyer; and a series inspired by the 1981 Terry Gilliam movie ‘Time Bandits’. Apple has also enlisted some pretty big names to create new projects, including M. Night Shyamalan (‘Glass’), Francis Lawrence (‘The Hunger Games’), Jon M. Chu (‘Crazy Rich Asians’) and Damien Chazelle (‘La La Land’).
Are you an Apple user? How do you feel about the company offering these projects for free to users?