Friday, August 4, 2017

Apple Music Banks On 'Carpool Karaoke'

John Legend, Alicia Keys
Will Smith gate-crashing a wedding party or John Legend and Alicia Keys serenading a woman at a launderette are just some of the reasons Apple Inc hopes viewers will pay for Apple Music as it launches new show "Carpool Karaoke: The Series."

Following the June launch of "Planet of the Apps," Apple's second premium video series will debut on Aug. 8, with hopes that a recognizable show and slew of A-list celebrities will help the world's largest technology company stand out in a saturated television market.

"It's about the artist and the songs that are being sung, just to get a little behind-the-scenes of their personalities and some of their thoughts," Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services, told Reuters.

Apple's "Carpool Karaoke" is based on the popular segment from CBS' "The Late, Late Show with James Corden," in which Corden joins guests such as Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Adele in sing-a-longs while driving.

Apple Music, which costs $9.99 a month for an individual membership and has 27 million subscribers, will release two "Carpool" episodes weekly except for the premiere and finale, released as standalone episodes, of the 20-part series.

Apple's deep pockets piqued Hollywood's attention as it entered the original programming race and poached two Sony Pictures Television executives.

James Corden, who appears in some episodes of Apple's "Carpool Karaoke," said partnering with the technology company was a "no-brainer." The series offered an opportunity to include celebrities that he said had asked to do the segment on "The Late, Late Show."

"We really wanted to try and keep ('Carpool Karaoke') in that rarefied air," Corden said.

"We started thinking if all of these names are desperate to do it, I wonder if there's a world in which we could find a sister show for it that lives somewhere else, not on network television."

Apple is competing in a crowded field against companies including Inc and Netflix Inc shelling out billions of dollars a year to stream dramas and comedies.

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