The more we learn about Apple’s forthcoming streaming service, the more underwhelming this product ultimately sounds—and a new whisper of one its offerings isn’t doing Apple any favors.
Citing four people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported Wednesday that Airbnb is looking to get into the original content game with series designed to get viewers pumped about travel—which sounds about right considering each day brings news of another goddamn company’s pivot to video. This original content endeavor evidently includes a show for Apple’s new streaming service called Home, which Reuters describes as “a docuseries featuring unique abodes around the world and the people behind them.”
According to the report, the intention behind its original content is to help Airbnb stand out against its competitors and cement its immediate association with travel. Joe Poulin, Airbnb’s vice president of luxury, is reportedly an executive producer of the series. Answering the million dollar question of who the hell is going to pay for this original travel content, Reuters cited the company as saying that its massive customer base is pulling in partners who are willing to pony up to tap into that network, though it’s not clear if that includes the rumored Apple series.
Neither Airbnb nor Apple immediately returned a request for comment.
That Airbnb’s apparent identity crisis now includes original content is at once puzzling and—considering even Walmart has considered producing original content—kind of makes sense. But Apple? C’mon. The company’s big presentation on the service in March was a gigantic flop that was quickly overshadowed by Disney’s devastating reveal of its new platform that is absolutely loaded with content. Moreover, we’ve already heard that some of the fucking employees of Apple’s streaming service are referring to it as “expensive NBC,” and this latest rumor isn’t exactly helping shift pre-launch perception of the service away from that description.
The Wall Street Journal—which delivered that last delicious detail—reported on the service back in September, writing at the time that Apple wanted “high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal, but it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.” This reportedly led to shelving Dr. Dre’s semi-biographical series Vital Signs because scenes included “characters doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion, and drawn guns,” per the Journal, which were just too much for Tim Cook to handle.
Listen, I’m not saying that everything Apple is bringing on for this service is going to be a bust. It got Oprah for god’s sake. But as it stands, we’re looking at a bunch of potentially watered down content free from anything remotely offensive and… possibly a travel show/ad from Airbnb. Not exactly delivering the kind of wow-factor you’d hope for from Apple! But I’d be more than happy to be proven wrong.