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Apple taps Jessica Alba, others to push for online video streaming

LiveMint logoLiveMint 07-06-2017 Lucas Shaw

Los Angeles: A day after Apple Inc. announced updates to its computers, watches and phones, the company packed a couple thousand software developers into a theatre for an early look at its next big thing—an online TV show featuring Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow.

On Tuesday, Apple releases its first original series, Planet of the Apps, starring the two successful Hollywood businesswomen, rapper Will.i.am and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Would-be inventors partnering with the four will design and present apps that help people shop, exercise or look after friends in a series that looks a lot like The Voice or Top Chef.

With $250 billion in cash and securities sloshing around, the tech giant could have tackled online powerhouses like Netflix or Amazon.

Instead, the company is starting small and staying close to what it does well, challenging Spotify and YouTube with a slate of new videos about music and technology.

“This show will echo and reflect a cultural transformation in our society led by technology companies like Apple,” said Ben Silverman, an executive producer of Planet of the Apps. With the new videos, Apple’s aims to get fans watching on their iPhones, which deliver almost two-thirds of the company’s sales.

Planet of the Apps will be available only on Apple Music.

Each judge spent weeks helping their proteges develop ideas and features in preparation for a pitch to venture capital firm Lightspeed Ventures, an early backer of Snap Inc. For the hosts, it was a chance to display a side less known to consumers.

Apple’s involvement was a draw for both Paltrow and Alba. The show gave each a chance to showcase their business acumen—Paltrow co-founded Goop, a media and lifestyle brand, while Alba started Honest Co. Bloomberg

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