YouTube cancels original series just as Apple enters the game

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Overthinking
One of the shows to get the boot.
Photo: YouTube

YouTube is reportedly canceling its original series just as Apple prepares to unveil a video streaming service of its own.

At least two of YouTube’s biggest shows have been axed, according to a new report. The service has also stopped accepting pitches for new originals as it drops plans to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix.

Apple could take on Fire TV Stick with its own streaming dongle

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Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon's Fire TV Stick offers streaming content at a low price.
Photo: Amazon

Apple has spent upwards of $1 billion creating original TV shows, but as of yet it hasn’t revealed exactly how it plans to get these in front of users. One idea? That it could release a streaming dongle, similar to Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.

This could be a lower cost entry point into the streaming TV market — since both Amazon and Google’s offerings cost under $50, compared to $180 for the Apple TV.

TV stars grab fat paychecks thanks to Apple’s spending spree

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Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon could earn a massive payday from Apple.
Photo: HBO

Apple is spending upward of $1 billion on its original TV shows, and it’s not skimping when it comes to star salaries. According to a recent report, Apple is paying out some of the highest salaries to any actors in television shows. It’s even exceeding the amount paid to the stars of shows like The Walking Dead.

It’s another example of how, when you’re a company the size of Apple, you can afford to throw around some serious cash to bring in top talent.

Why Apple’s plan to give away original TV shows is crazy like a fox

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Will Apple's weird plan to give away its TV shows make Netflix nervous?
Will Apple's weird plan to give away its TV shows make Netflix nervous?
Photo: Siniz Kim/Unsplash CC

After spending upward of $1 billion creating original TV shows, Apple apparently plans to give them away for free. That would certainly be a bold move as Apple muscles into original video production, but it might be the craziest idea ever.

Here are three reasons why it’s a smart strategy — and three more why it could backfire.

Snapchat jumps into original content with 5-minute daily scripted shows

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Snap Originals 1
Snap is launching a whole bunch of original shows.
Photo: Snap

Apple’s not the only tech company hopping on the original content bandwagon in 2018. Snapchat company Snap is launching new shows in partnership with Hollywood production companies. And they’re coming as soon as today.

Called “Snap Originals,” they won’t be full-length shows like Apple is busy commissioning, though. In keeping with the short-term hook that made Snapchat popular, the company is cranking out five-minute episodes shot vertically for viewing on mobile devices.

Netflix isn’t worried about Apple’s impending avalanche of TV shows

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75% of Netflix users have no plans to jump ship to Apple TV+ (right away)
Netflix isn't fearing Apple.
Photo: Flickr/Stock Catalog

Apple is spending upwards of $1 billion making original TV shows, but little has been publicly said about the initiative just yet. According to Netflix’s chief content officer, not only are customers in the dark about how Apple will make its shows available — even the folks making the shows for Apple don’t know.

Speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said that, “I don’t have any idea what that Apple product is going to be. I don’t think anybody does. I don’t think people making shows for them have any idea.”

What’s more, Netflix isn’t worried!

Apple hires replacement actor for Are You Sleeping? series

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apple tv
Apple now has more than 20 shows in production.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Actress Katherine LaNasa from the TV series Imposters and Satisfaction has joined the cast of Apple thriller series Are You Sleeping?, about a Serial-style crime podcast which reopens a murder case.

Interestingly, she will play a new character to replace the one originally played by actress Moon Bloodgood, who left the show after filming four out of the eight season one episodes. According to trade publication Deadline, the character’s role in the show is being completely rewritten.

Apple wants to corner the market on squeaky-clean TV shows

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Don't expect to find much swearing, violence or sex in Apple's original TV shows.
Don't expect to find much swearing, violence or sex in Apple's original TV shows.
Photo: JESHOOTS.com/Pexels CC

Apple may have upward of 20 original TV shows in production, but don’t expect to find them filled with adult themes or material.

According to a new report, Apple is aiming for shows with broad appeal, which translates as no “gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.” While this rule won’t be an absolute, it does mean that only a small number of Apple TV shows will receive a TV-MA rating.

Apple acquires feature-length documentary and animated movie

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apple tv
Apple's original content catalog is getting even better.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has acquired the rights to two feature-length films as part of its original content efforts. The first is a feature documentary, titled The Elephant Queen of Athena, while the second is an animated film called Wolfwakers.

The Elephant Queen of Athena was opened up to buyers earlier this year at the European Film Market in Berlin, Germany. Following the story of an elephant matriarch who leads her family on journey across Africa in search of food and water, it’s been likened to 2005’s highly successful March of the Penguins.

Apple’s original TV shows will have to abide by EU quotas

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apple tv
Apple needs to source a percentage of its shows from Europe.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

As Apple makes moves to become a provider of streaming video content, it will be among the companies bound by new EU laws, stating that companies dedicate at least 30 percent of their on-demand catalogs to local content.

Roberto Viola, head of the European Commission department which regulates this area, says that the laws are on track to be enshrined in December. “We just need the final vote, but it’s a mere formality,” he recently told trade publication Variety.