App builders are the 'new rock stars,' says the producer of Apple's 'Planet of the Apps'

App builders have taken a central role in building modern culture, to the point where they have become "the new rock stars," said Ben Silverman, producer of Apple's new reality TV show 'Planet of the Apps.'

"These guys and gals who developed and generated these apps ... are building culture the same way directors, writers, actors and singers have built culture the previous 50 years," said Silverman on "Squawk Alley."


The series — available exclusively on Apple Music — is a reality show about app developers competing for download dollars. Silverman's production company Propogate partnered with Apple to develop and produce the show.

It's an exciting time to be in the creative content business, as new and old media players come together and new distribution networks open up new ways to reach viewers, said Silverman.

"Both sides are learning from each other," he said.

Silverman is a former NBC Universal executive and veteran Hollywood producer behind such hits as 'The Office' and 'The Biggest Loser.'

On "Planet of the Apps," app makers pitch their ideas for the chance to win $10 million in venture capital funding, mentoring and exposure to Apple TV users.

The show features big names, including Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, musicians will.i.am. and Zane Lowe and tech entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Tech investment firm Lightspeed Venture Partners is involved as venture capital partner.

Silverman's next show might also have a tech tie-in: "I just watched Mark Zuckerberg with the North Carolina basketball team and I immediately thought 'that's a show!' — but we can talk about that later," he said.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images