Apple’s streaming service has been in the works for years. The software giant invested more than a billion dollars into the project to bring its own Netflix competitor into fruition. The company is even investing millions to develop its own original shows that’d compete with Netflix Originals and Amazon Prime Originals.
So far, though, things have been a little rocky for Cupertino. WSJ is reporting that the company is enforcing a family-friendly approach for all its original content, possibly delaying the launch of its streaming service even further. WSJ notes that Tim Cook said the company’s Vital Signs show — based on Dr. Dre’s life — was “too violent” after watching it a year ago. “Apple can’t show this,” the report mentions.
That’s not all. Bryan Fuller, the showrunner for Apple’s reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, left the firm earlier in the year after a major conflict over Apple’s focus on family-friendly content. The company is even facing problems with its other show — based on a morning news show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon — which costs the company more than $12 million an episode. After initially replacing the original showrunner for the show, the company is now facing scheduling issues with Witherspoon, resulting in further delays.
Apple has invested a ton of money into its streaming service, and the family-friendly approach could end up hurting the company in the longer run. Some within the company are even calling its streaming service efforts as the “expensive NBC.” Apple made it clear to its showrunners and producers it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence, and it even wants to stay away from politics and religious subjects.
And that’s exactly the opposite approach its competitors like Netflix are taking.
With shows like Narcos, House of Cards, 13 Reasons Why, Sacred Games, Sense8, and others, Netflix hasn’t shied away from content that Apple would otherwise consider being too profane, or violent. Graphic content obviously isn’t the key to success, though Apple could find itself struggling to produce entertaining content if it’s not ready to banish the conservative approach for its shows.