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Apple's original content efforts for its long-rumored video streaming project will consist of programming without excessive violence, sex, or political elements, a new report claims, under the belief that the company stands to lose more from users being offended and not buying Apple devices as a result of what they view.
Apple is taking a different approach for its slate of original programming than its competitors, in that the content must not affect its "pristine brand image," reports the Wall Street Journal. After spiking the Dr. Dre scripted TV show 'Vital Signs' for being too violent, the company has apparently made it clear to producers and agents that its shows must be high-quality, but relatively family friendly.
This differs greatly from the original production catalogs of other platforms, such as HBO's 'Game of Thrones' and 'Westworld,' or Netflix's 'House of Cards' and 'Orange is the New Black." The platforms are known for having edgier content compared to normal broadcast television, which they capitalize on regularly.
News of the conservative approach surfaced last year, with a report claiming Apple executives did not want kids "catching a stray nipple." The latest report suggests this may be an attempt to prevent the content from causing an issue with the company's other revenue streams.
Former NBC and Fox programming executive Preston Beckman suggests Apple is extremely exposed if it produced risky content, due to being a consumer product company. While on objection to content on Netflix may lose the service a subscriber, Beckman notes "With Apple, you can say, 'I'm going to punish them by not buying their phone or computer."
The need to keep content safe for all has contributed to delays inits release, agents and producers suggest, with it postponed twice and currently anticipated for launch in March. However, one producer working on some Apple projects believes the final launch date could be pushed back even further into the future.
Apple is said to be spending around $1 billion on the original content push, and could easily spend more to start more productions or to acquire rights for more shows. Most recently, it picked up the straight-to-series 'Defending Jacob,' starring Chris Evans and based on a novel by William Landay.