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If theres one thing Apple and its newly chosen competition, Hollywood at large, have in common, its a shared appreciation for the old razzle-dazzle. Steve Jobs, after all, was known for turning what could have been rote presentations into Events with a capital “E,” giving the phrase “one more thing” a cultural resonance all its own. And so it should come as no surprise that in announcing more concrete plans for its already-promised, billion-dollar original-programming slate, Apple made sure to clear its throat—loudly—with an event dedicated to what, for some enterprises, would have simply arrived as a press release.

Apples big event kicked off with a stylish, Saul Bass-inspired faux credit sequence touting the companys innovations. But it took more than an hour for anyone to say anything about the companys original content. And even as the TV announcements began, the presentation continued to feel more like a drawn-out introduction to something bigger than an event in its own right. In the end, the grand takeaways were pretty simple: the new shows will arrive this fall; they were made by very famous people; and Apple sure hopes thats enough to buoy this effort to success.

The closest Apple got to revealing anything tangible about its shows was a sizzle reel, played near the end of the presentation, that featured brief clips from various shows in the works, such as the Reese WitherspoonJennifer Aniston morning show and the Emily Dickinson comedy starring Hailee Steinfeld. Before that there was also a longer trailer: a black-and-white production featuring acclaimed directors like Steven Spielberg and Sofia Coppola, as well as stars including Witherspoon, Aniston, and Octavia Spencer, that essentially boiled down to a series of platitudes about the importance and difficulty of storytelling. And once the stars themselves began to take the stage to discuss their projects, it was basically more of the same publicist-scripted language anyone whos been following Apples TV venture with any attention has likely already read in press releases.

Apple has a lot to prove—more, perhaps, than any of the other original-content newcomers from the shiny world of tech. Last year, Eddy Cue, a senior vice president overseeing the team in charge of Apples original-programming push, flatly admitted, “We dont know anything about making television. So what skills does Apple bring to that? And the viewpoint is: very little. Theres other things we bring. We know how to create apps, we know how to do distribution, we know how to market. But we dont really know how to create shows.” That has not stopped the company from dedicating a $1 billion budget to the effort, even as reports of tumult emerged semi-regularly. Despite the promise of a behemoth list of offerings, even the shows creators did not know, as of last week, when their series might actually make it to air.

So Mondays presentation had a lot to answer for—which only makes the non-news the company chose to present even more baffling. Why not compose at least miniature trailers for some of the series that took the stage, rather than trot out everyone from Big Bird to J.J. Abrams to vamp for a few minutes apiece? Rather than the company revealing release dates or more specific details about its original-content approach, most of the concrete information Monday provided was about Apples new TV app—which, essentially, promises to do what many Apple products do: allow users to perform tasks theyre already able to complete on other devices, but more seamlessly and with a glossier interface.

Among the new Apple TVs promises: the ability to watch ad-free content with a skip-intro button; the ability to watch across devices; the ability to download content to watch anywhere; the ability to link cable subscriptions to watch live sports. These are all things most people can already accomplish through some constellation of subscriptions and devices, and most crucially, many of them are accomplishable on Netflix, the major competition to Apple TV+ whose content wont be available anywhere within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple isnt exactly promising all television—as Cue noted last year, Apples real promise as it enters the TV sphere lies in allowing people to watch what they want more seamlessly. C.E.O. Tim Cook echoed that sentiment during Mondays presentation as well, when he vowed users could “spend less time looking for somethRead More – Source

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Vanity Fair

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