According to The Hollywood Reporter, Beats co-founder and Apple executive Dr. Dre will be starring in and producing his own six-show original series called Vital Signs. The semi-autobiographical storyline is rumored to be distributed via Apple Music, includes other celebrities like Sam Rockwell and Mo McCrae, and contains “an orgy scene”.
Last year, Variety broke the news that Apple was looking at bankrolling its own original content. This effort is being led by Eddy Cue, who heads up Music and iTunes. Cue recently had developer relations duties shifted off of him and onto SVP Phil Schiller, so presumably he now has time to muck around making TV shows.
I have to admit, that the idea of an explicit TV show being bankrolled by Apple had me chuckling for a moment as I considered Steve Jobs’ stance on profane material in the App Store.
However, upon serious contemplation of this, it makes sense. Apple is arguably behind when it comes to original content. It makes some sense they’d try original programming from one of their own artists first.Netflix and Amazon are both driving hard to bolster their positions. Providers are moving to their own silos to offer programming — this is why Netflix is making their own stuff, because eventually everyone big enough (like Disney) will pull out and have their own channel. Apple is likely planning for when it has a streaming service that needs original content to drive subscriptions
And let’s not forget that Dre has an exceedingly good track record of mentoring and working with the best in the business and creating top notch trends and content. So I would have to see this myself before writing it off prematurely.
Regardless, Apple has enough cash on hand to take a risk here and attempt to break into this other market.