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Apple’s First TV Show, ‘Planet of the Apps,’ Will Feature 100 Developers in Competition Series

Apple - Planet of the Apps
Courtesy of Apple/Propagate Content

Apple’s original reality-competition TV show about app developers — “Planet of the Apps,” which is more like a huge branded-content project — has opened a call for entries to find 100 aspiring tech entrepreneurs to be featured in the series.

Set to debut in 2017, the series is being executive produced by Ben Silverman and Howard Owens, founders of production firm Propagate Content, and musician-entrepreneur will.i.am. Apple announced plans for the show this spring.

Producers have launched planetoftheapps.com, where they are soliciting one-minute video submissions from developers explaining their idea for a great new app. The winners who are selected for the show will get the chance to receive hands-on guidance from “some of the most influential experts in the tech community,” as well as featured placement on the App Store and potential funding from venture capital firms.

It’s not clear at this point how strong Apple’s appetite is for original TV shows — so far, the productions it has greenlit have centered on promoting its existing businesses.

The tech giant is reportedly developing a scripted series from Dr. Dre, co-founder of music company Beats, which Apple acquired for $3 billion. That’s expected to be featured on Apple Music, its $10-per-month music-streaming service. This spring, Apple Music launched a music docu-series from Vice Media and last December exclusively live-streamed a Taylor Swift concert special from her “1989” tour.

Online applications for “Planet of the Apps” are being accepted through Friday, Aug. 26. Developers must agree to have an iOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS app in a “beta or functional state” by Oct. 21.

Shooting for the inaugural season of “Planet of the Apps” is set to take place in Los Angeles from late 2016 to early 2017. “If you are not able to take off work during this period, please do not apply,” the website notes.

The show’s producers have tapped Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt, a website for discovering new technology products, games and books, as an adviser for “Planet of the Apps.”

“Kids today idolize (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg the same way my parents admired Cat Stevens,” Hoover wrote in a blog post Tuesday announcing the competition. “There’s never been a better time for a show about tech.”

“Planet of the Apps” will give app creators the chance to break into the big leagues of app-dom, with Apple’s plans to promote the winning projects, Hoover wrote: “Building a great app is hard but breaking through the noise and finding an audience can be even harder.”

To promote the contest, Product Hunt team will co-host meetups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and New York in the next few months, according to Hoover, with more details to be announced.