Apple’s ‘Planet of the Apps’ trailer is Silicon Valley’s take on ‘Shark Tank’

Apple released a trailer for Planet of the Apps, its upcoming series that examines the massive world of apps, developers with ideas for what they hope will be the next big download, and the celebrity entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that could help them achieve their app dreams.

The two-minute trailer, released at the Recode Code Media conference, suggests the series as a sort of Shark Tank for app developers looking to earn venture capital investments to back their ideas and bring them to life. They first pitch their idea to a panel of four “culturally influential entrepreneurs:” Gwyneth Paltrow, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jessica Alba, and will.i.am. Unlike that other show, however, developers have just 60 seconds to get someone on the panel intrigued enough to fork over some dough. Weirdly, they do so while traveling down an escalator.

If they get someone interested, the show moves to the advisory stage, in which they work with the investor and other tech luminaries on building the app. Then, they give their final pitch to venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, with the celebrity partner on stage with them this time for added support. The successful apps eventually get featured placement in the iOS app store, where millions of iOS device users can download and use them.

While the concept seems to work with shows like Shark Tank, which sees cast investors like Mark Cuban and Daymond John, and guest investors like Ashton Kutcher and Chris Sacca, back ideas for various services and products, will it work on a streaming platform, and strictly within the world of apps?

Maybe it’s just the cheesy name and inclusion of the escalator (really, why?), and the transparent goal of promoting and influencing app store purchases, not to mention celebrity brands, that might stand in the way of the series’ success. But given how many people like shows like Shark Tank (while the ABC series’ fall finale last December saw a significant drop in ratings, it still drew in a healthy 4.9 million viewers) Planet of the Apps may just have an audience.

The concept for Planet of the Apps was pitched to Apple by will.i.am. The series is “coming soon” to Apple Music.

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