Apple's streaming service, expected to launch in March 2019, will take a conservative approach and focus on family-friendly programming with no sex, profanity, or violence on any of its shows.
Investments in Apple original programming have been bountiful, in preparation for the service's launch. It remains to be seen, however, how the decision to focus on shows such as The Elephant Queen and Wolfwalkers will affect the Apple streaming service's competitive edge over rivals such as Netflix.
Apple Streaming Service Will Be Family-Friendly
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is taking a conservative approach with its streaming service, making it clear to producers and agents that it does not want "gratuitous sex, profanity or violence" in its shows, as well as political and religious subjects. Instead, Apple is angling for "high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal."
One example that was cited in the report is Vital Signs, a scripted drama that was based on the life of hip hop mogul Dr. Dre. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down to watch the show, which featured drugs, guns, and an orgy.
Cook told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine that the show was too violent and that Apple's streaming service should not show it, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
Keeping Apple's "squeaky clean" image for its streaming service has reportedly delayed or interfered with many projects. Apple employees in Los Angeles have already started referring to the streaming service as "expensive NBC" because the planned content was so bland.
Apple has always leaned toward the conservative side, such as with its ban against adult content on its App Store. It appears that the same mindset will be applied to its streaming service, which will likely affect how it stacks up against rival services.
Apple vs Netflix
Apple has invested a lot of money in its streaming service, but the conservative approach may hurt the company in the long run, especially amid competition against its rivals in the space.
For example, Netflix has not shied away from controversial content with shows such as 13 Reasons Why, Narcos, and House of Cards. Apple streaming service shows, based on the report, will never carry programs with similar themes.
Sex, profanity, and violence are not the only keys to a successful streaming service, but Apple's restriction on content may alienate certain parts of its intended audience. If the company does not move away from its family-friendly approach, the streaming service may find itself struggling to produce entertaining content.