Apple’s first original television series Planet of the Apps will debut today, reports Reuters. The first episode, which was screened at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), will be free on iTunes and the Planet of the Apps website. The show will air at 9 p.m. Pacific on Apple Music.
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The show is about 100 app developers who try their hand at creating the next big app, and they’re judged by celebrity judges. All the participants are competing for millions of dollars in venture capital from Lightspeed Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm known for offering support to companies such as Snapchat, Fusion-io and Brocade.
Planet of the Apps is the brainchild of musician Will.i.am, who, with producer Ben Silverman, presented the series to traditional TV players before showing it to Apple. Will.i.am will be one of the judges alongside entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, who have also started their own businesses, notes 9to5Mac.
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With the show, the iPhone maker is looking to offer users new apps which are interesting enough to try to talk about. The show might also help reignite users’ interest in browsing the App Store and trying out new apps. In the past year, Apple raked in over $24 billion in sales from the App Store, Apple Music and various other services. The company earns 30% on every app purchase.
The California-based company looks keen on creating original shows and mimicking Netflix and Amazon. Another series from Apple will be Carpool Karaoke, which is set to launch on August 8.
About Planet of the Apps
In an interview with Reuters, Apple’s Eddy Cue said Planet of Apps is all about turning an idea into reality.
“The question when you have ideas is how to take those to fruition. Sometimes you may not know how, you might be afraid of what’s involved. This really shows how that’s possible,” the executive said.
In the beginning of every episode, developers present their apps in front of the panel of advisors. Once the mentors hear a briefing about it, they decide whether the participant should continue or not. If the mentors vote yes, the developer can continue the demo of their app. Thereafter, the developers and advisors come face to face and build strategies for the VC pitch for their businesses, which is then shown at the end of the episode.
There will be a total of 10 episodes, with each focusing on two mentors and two apps. There will be one episode each week so that audiences have more time to download the apps shown in every episode, notes The Hollywood Reporter. The apps will be promoted on the App Store.
“All of our customers are going to be exposed to this in one way or another,” Cue said.
A Twitter account with the name Planet of the Apps has also gone live. Apple posted a trailer of the show on Tuesday.