Apple is about to enter the branded content foray with an original reality-competition TV show about iOS app developers. “Planet of the Apps” just wrapped an open call for 100 aspiring tech entrepreneurs and the show itself is scheduled to air in 2017.
Although specific details about the program’s format have yet to be revealed, it appears that “Planet of the Apps” will be a Shark Tank-type program for app ideas, which can then be funded by interested mentor judges.
Lightspeed Venture Partners, which was the first institutional investor in Snapchat and Alba’s Honest Company, has joined the series as a venture capital partner. Lightspeed is committing $10 million to fund the development of the apps selected in “Planet of the Apps”
Mentors and advisors for the project include Hollywood elite like Gweneth Paltrow and Alba. Also on board is musician will.i.am and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuck. Paltrow and will.i.am will also executive produce the project, along with Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens of Propagate.
“Planet of the Apps” is Apple’s first original TV program and a big move in the direction of branded content. The tech giant was recently named the most valuable brand portfolio in the world, and clearly has no plans of slowing down. The show is scheduled to film this fall, and applicants were required to have an iOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS app in a “beta or functional state” by Oct. 21, according to the entry guidelines.
“As a mentor on ‘Planet of the Apps,’ I’m looking forward to meeting entrepreneurs looking to address a problem with an innovative solution, and to help them realize their vision,” Alba said. “I can’t wait to see the ideas the app developers bring to the table.”