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Apple Selecting Developers to Appear on 'Planet of the Apps' Next Year

Earlier this year, Apple posted an open casting call for its upcoming original TV show Planet of the Apps, an unscripted series about apps and the talented developers who make them. The show will serve as a "launch pad" and "accelerator" for up to 100 developers, who will receive mentorship from influencers and entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and will.i.am.

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Details surrounding the show are still vague, including when it will air in 2017 and how it will be distributed, but the basic premise draws similarities to Shark Tank. Developers will pitch their apps, and those who make it to the final round will meet with top-tier venture capitalists investing up to $10 million over the course of the season, and receive featured placement in the App Store at the end of the show.

Apple accepted applications to be on the show until late September, and we have since learned some of the details about the step-by-step process from a developer selected to be on the show.

The person, who wishes to remain anonymous due to their involvement, said the application process involved four stages:

First Round: The developer submitted a standard online application on the Planet of the Apps website, including a one-minute video, basic information about the app, and screenshots. Shortly afterwards, he received a phone call from a casting director in Los Angeles, who notified him that he was selected to move on to the next round. The casting director asked him several questions about how he thought of the idea, and why he wanted to be on the show.

Second Round: The developer was instructed to pitch his app by creating a longer 5-10 minute unedited video that would be professionally edited by the show's staff and then shown to the producers directly. His team was given two weeks to finish this video. The producers provided a checklist of topics to focus on in the video, including how the app works, what makes it unique, how much money desired, and how the money would be used.

In addition, the developers were required to mail in a lengthy application package about the app and an Audition Release granting Apple permission to edit or use the video in any way.

Third Round: The developer was given one week to sign a lengthy contract covering all of the legal issues behind being on the show, such as accepting equity from investors or Apple. The contract package consisted of forms such as a Participant Agreement, Emergency Medical Release, and App Idea Information Form. The contract was accompanied by another short questionnaire about the app, including how many times it has been downloaded.

In addition, the developer was asked to inform the casting coordinators about his team's availability over the next few months. He said developers will be flown out to Los Angeles on three separate occasions, filming for three days upon each visit for a total of nine days of filming.

Fourth Round: The developer was subjected to a background check. He said the show's coordinators made it clear that, even at this stage, some of the developers would be selected as standby and would not be guaranteed an appearance on the show. Nevertheless, the show's travel team reached out to the developer to begin the process of booking flights for his team in anticipation of them being accepted on the show.

Principal filming of Planet of the Apps will begin in Los Angeles later this year and may continue until early 2017. The developer who spoke to us believes the first episodes could air around March or April of next year.



Top Rated Comments

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25 months ago
Yes, just what developers want... "mentorship from influencers and entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and will.i.am".

What is Will.i.am going to show any developers? How to make crappy products that fail before they even launch like his iPhone camera or his remanufactured DeLoreans? Does anyone even care what this guy thinks any more?
Rating: 14 Votes
25 months ago
Kill me
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago
Why aren't they focusing on Macbook p....oh wait
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago

I can foresee the coming of a lot of negative comments. Typical MR style.

You mean negative comments like yours or "the other kind" of negative comments that you're being negative about? Typical MR style.:rolleyes:
Rating: 8 Votes
25 months ago
See if there will be any left next year.
Rating: 7 Votes
25 months ago
Code monkeys (primates) put on display in Planet of the Apes ... errr, Apps.

Still kinda can't believe they are sticking with that name. Makes me wonder if they even know about the implied insult.
Rating: 7 Votes
25 months ago
Apple, just...stop.
Rating: 7 Votes
25 months ago

This.

Apps are actually dying en masse; this is yet another attempt at smoke and mirrors to try and divert attention away from that fact. The long-term health of apps has a poor prognosis due to the reasons you state. In particular, I do not think that the future of tv is apps; far from it. I think to try and fit tv into the apps model was a big mistake and now that won't succeed.

Why can't Apple do services well? I think they have the wrong culture for it. Amazon and Google are both far, far better at services. In an ideal world, Apple would simply hand over control of their services to those two and concentrate their attention on hardware and possibly software.


Mr. Frost gets it :)

Yes, dying, or basically dead already...

But actually being KILLED by Apple's own stupidity. Selling mobile software for a few bucks per copy was a decent business opportunity with the potential to sell on a device in everyone's pocket (compared to at home on their desktop - or laptop). But Apple killed that proposition by forcing family share on developers - this killed small operations that yes, were the ones (like me) who "had the courage" to try crazy ideas that "changed the world".. but that was back in the early days when Apple NEEDED us to bolster their new pocket computing platform with Apps. They also removed simple discoverability features from the store (category sort by release date), and added the mysterious "Featuring" system to the obfuscated approval process... All these forced on developers by Apple, who by the way, is a hardware company and has never made a SINGLE DOLLAR PROFIT from selling software - think about that last point for a moment....

So now they've degraded to to hand picking (featured) apps that really are just referred by their "Pedigreed chums" via school contacts or VC funding... It's not what you know, it's who you know.... (see Anki Drive app for example)...

Very sad - iOS could have been a great platform for the foreseeable future, but now it's headed to the ~5% (traditional) market share that Apple has gone out of business at least once trying to exist in. Apple TV and Watch are also doomed to the same stupid mindset. Watch died exactly for the opposite reason iPhone succeeded initially - no way to charge for watch extensions.. Apple TV is dead for the same because if you don't sell via universal purchase your app will never get featured.

Free is always the "best customer experience" but the only thing that is universally free is nothing....
Rating: 5 Votes
25 months ago
This just sounds sad. It's paid advertising, and it is monkey sad. This is consumer kibble.
Rating: 4 Votes
25 months ago
This is just a blatant attempt to generate corporate propaganda via a deceptive message that "Apple Cares" about developers and Apps are a lucrative business. Sure, they will show a bunch of developers "making it big" in the Apps business, but the reality is the "winners" on the show will only make it due to Apple astro-turfing (featuring) their Apps. Making money on "penny" Apps is dead, and Apple killed it by their stupid developer program / App Store policies.
Rating: 4 Votes

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