Will Apple's New Original Series Have Ads? It Is an Ad

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event in Cupertino, Calif. on March 21.
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple event in Cupertino, Calif. on March 21. Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple's tentative forays into original content seem to be coming at a faster clip, now including a deal to back an unscripted series from Ben Silverman and Will.i.am.

The company has said very little about its intentions in original programming, but so far it has revolved around its Apple Music service, with exclusive rights to show a Taylor Swift concert last year, the new music doc series "The Score" with Vice and a deal for a scripted series with Dr. Dre called "Vital Signs."

But the new effort revolves around another area of interest to Apple: its own apps.

As The Hollywood Reporter wrote:

"We've seen some really, truly inspiring and incredible stories from our developers in what they've done, where they come from, how they started and the problems they've solved," explains Eddy Cue, who oversees iTunes and Apple Music among other software and services at Apple.

Adds Silverman: "We can really tell their stories as we explore how apps are developed and created and incubated."

A spokesman did not immediately reply to questions about whether the series will have opportunities for advertising and whether people beyond Apple Music subscribers will be able to watch.

Like the music programming, which so far feels more like added value for existing Apple Music subscribers than a lure for new ones, the new series resembles an experiment with benefits -- promoting the App Store -- rather than the cornerstone of a fledgling Netflix rival. "House of Cards" it isn't.

But given Apple's war chest, its ambitions to get into TV somehow and the maturation of its iPhone business, don't write off the show after this one.

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