Apple’s first original video series has hit a road bump.
Reuters is reporting that the launch of “Carpool Karaoke” — a video series that features high-profile celebrities doing karaoke in a car — has been delayed.
The plan was to use it to bolster the lineup of Apple Music, Apple’s music streaming service, as it attempts to compete with Spotify. The company has also produced some original music-focused documentaries — like one about the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine, and another about British musician Skepta. It recently also acquired exclusive rights to a documentary about label executive Clive Davis.
But Carpool Karaoke is the first original series Apple has been working on — and now it’s being pushed back. It was supposed to launch in April, but an Apple spokesperson told Reuters that “Carpool Karaoke: The Series will premiere on Apple Music later this year.” The postponement comes after two events — a premiere party in March, and a launch party planned for Monday — were also cancelled.
The original “Carpool Karaoke” starred James Corden in each segment — it was part of his CBS show, after all. Corden will still feature in the new show, but a trailer released earlier this year shows he won’t appear in every instalment.
For years, Apple dominated the online music business via iTunes, its online music store. But the company missed a trick when it came to the rise of music streaming, and it has been forced to play catch-up to Spotify.
Apple Music has “well past” 20 million paying subscribers, according to exec Eddy Cue. But Spotify has more than 50 million, it says, and another 50 million non-paying users on its ad-supported tier. (Apple Music does not have a free option.)
Apple is reportedly also planning a more significant push into original video content in the vein of HBO’s “Westworld” or Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. But Apple isn’t (at least for now) planning to go head-to-head with major video subscription services. Instead, these shows would come bundled with Apple Music as another way to differentiate it against its Swedish rival.