Apple becomes a TV station with ‘Planet of the Apps’

First there were the Big Three TV networks: CBS, NBC and ABC.

Then came HBO, Showtime, MTV and the rise of cable TV. The debut of Fox, in the late 1980s, turned the Big Three into the Big Four. Netflix and Hulu then spurred the rise of over-the-top, internet-based streaming TV “networks.”

And now there is Apple.

On Tuesday, Apple made its debut into the world of original television programming with “Planet of the Apps,” a reality show that brings on app developers in a competition to try to get mentoring and assistance from hosts Jessica Alba, will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow and entrepreneur¬†Gary Vaynerchuk. Contestants describe their proposals as they ride an escalator down onto a stage where the judges sit, and then fire questions at the app developer.

The goal is to build an app, then present it to investors from Lightspeed Venture Partners in hopes of getting funding for launching their app company. The series has 10 episodes.

Apple is making the first episode available for free on its Apple Music site and at planetoftheapps.com. New episodes will be available for Apple Music subscribers.

The launch of “Planet of the Apps” can be seen as one of Apple’s new ventures to build up its offerings beyond its traditional hardware and software products, and lure more subscribers to pay $10 a month for Apple Music. Other programs slated to debut on Apple Music include “Carpool Karaoke: The Series,” which is based on the “Carpool Karaoke” segment on James Corden’s CBS program, “The Late Late Show,” and will premiere in August.

Photo: An ad for Apple Music on the streets of Manhattan on Aug. 7, 2015. Apple’s first original TV program, “Planet of the Apps,” made its debut on Apple Music on Tuesday. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

 

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