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Apple Still Hasn't Found That Breakout Video Hit

Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) "Planet of the Apps" was a dud. Actually, some reviewers called it boring and self-indulgent, while others were a bit more generous, labeling it as bland, tepid and barely competent.

In short, not a breakout hit.

On Aug. 8, Apple will make its "

" available to subscribers of its Apple Music platform. The show will feature pairs of celebrities such as Will Smith and James Corden, Shakira and Trevor Noah and Michael Strahan and Jeff Gordon on road trips singing their favorite songs.

Like "Planet of the Apps," Apple's riff on the "Carpool Karaoke" craze is something of a ripoff. Apple didn't invent the franchise, CBS Corp. (CBS) did. "The Late Late Show" host James Cordon turned the segment into a wildly popular bit of easily shared video that helped to drive ratings for CBS.

Apple, as it's historically done, is putting its own spin on a good thing. Just as Apple didn't invent the first smartphone nor the first download of a digitized song, Apple didn't come up with the idea of having celebrities singing together while driving. But Apple did make its smartphone one of the most successful retail products in history and helped fuel the growth of streaming music as a serious business.

And it's hoping that it can catch some fire with its version of "Carpool."

The question for Apple...


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