When The Hollywood Reporter posted a story about Apple’s first original television show, ‘Vital Signs’, the semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre, I started to think. I wanted to know what Apple was up to. This may be the first series that the tech giant is creating but this isn’t the first piece of original programming bankrolled by them. Apple paid Taylor Swift for access to her concert footage from her 1989 World Tour and made it into a concert movie, exclusive to Apple Music (It’s still just on Apple Music). Re/code also reported that Drake’s music video, Hotline Bling was fully paid for by Apple.
This is interesting and important to note that the timing of Drake’s partnership was perfect. I don’t know Aubrey’s business but I can probably assume that his label hasn’t cut a check for any of his recent releases or videos. Through his partnership with Apple Music, this has allowed for him to thrive without worrying too much about distribution, or promotion. Those costs are pretty much taken care of. Yes, he may have to pay for recording costs and production but he’s got it. I’m also wondering what’s next for Apple and if I were Spotify, I’d probably be worried. Then again, they aren’t because of their free tier. But how long will that last? Drake’s alliance with Apple Music has been for the most part, perfect for him and his release strategy before Views hits shelves and digital outlets. Very, Well Played.
Excerpt from Re/code:
Is Apple really getting into the TV business? Yes. But also, not really.
The real answer is more modest: Apple has already been financing video content it uses to market Apple Music — “to extend Apple Music,” in the words of an insider. And it’s doing that with the Dre show. Full stop.
That’s much less exciting than “Apple Is Getting Into TV,” but it’s more accurate. For an even more accurate, and much more boring headline, let’s use Twitter user @eric_analytics’ phrase: “Apple Is Getting Into Content Marketing.”
And that’s the plan with the Dre show — along with more video content to come — according to people familiar with the company’s plans. But that’s it.
So, yes — one day Apple could stop viewing videos as things to reward/recruit Apple Music buyers and start making original video, at scale, like Netflix.
But to imagine that scenario, you have to tell yourself why Apple would want to be in that business. Netflix does it to augment its existing business — selling bundles of content other people have already run somewhere else.
Bryan B. works for the Miami-Based Music Label & Management Company, Valholla Entertainment