iOS 11 to bring new video features to Apple Music, 10 original series planned this year

Bloomberg BusinessWeek today ran an extensive profile of Jimmy Iovine, 64, who runs Apple Music. In it, he reveals some of Apple’s plans for the service, including new video-centric features coming to Apple Music as part of iOS 11. Iovine says Apple could release up to ten original series on Apple Music this year. Essentially, it boils down to turning Apple’s music-streaming service into a one-stop shop for pop culture.

“When Apple introduces the next version of its smartphone software iOS later this year, the company plans to unveil a new edition of the Music app that better showcases video,” reads the article. “We’re going to market it like it’s a TV show,” Iovine said of planned video content for the service. “You’re going to know this is out.”

As iDownloadBlog discovered in February, Apple added a new “TV & Movies” section to Apple Music on desktop iTunes and in the Music app on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. This could be a precursor for the aforesaid video-cetric features.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

A music service needs to be more than a bunch of songs and a few playlists. I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture, everything from unsigned bands to video. We have a lot of plans.

We have the freedom, because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t work until it feels good.

Here are the shows we know are coming to Apple Music in the coming months:

  • Planet of the Apps—A Shark Tank-style competition for new apps
  • Carpool Karaoke—Celebrities-laden spinoff of James Corden’s singalong segment
  • Vital Signs—Dr. Dre’s semi-autobiographical scripted drama series

Apple could release as many as ten original series by the end of the year, “including several documentaries.” DJ Zane Lowe-narrated “808: The Movie”, which aired last December, filed as Apple’s first original documentary.

Sources have identified two more shows, one about the legendary hip-hop labels Bad Boy Records and Cash Money Records and another about music impresario Clive Davis. Some of the videos will be made in co-operation with premium partners such as movie director J.J. Abrams and rapper R. Kelly.

“For a music streaming service,” Iovine says, “we’re building a very decent slate.”

Apple Music hit 20 million subscribers in December 2016.

That’s still a far cry from Apple’s self-imposed lofty goal of signing up a least a hundred million users. By comparison, rival Spotify has more than 50 million premium members, but the Swedish company has been in the streaming business for more than five years.

“Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head,” said Iovine.

Here’s another fascinating excerpt from the Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile:

Before selling Beats Music to Apple, Iovine spoke with Netflix. He’d seen firsthand how much it would cost for his music service to keep the lights on (let alone actually make money), and he would have had to raise money and dilute his share in the business.

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Iovine the company wasn’t ready for music, but Iovine didn’t surrender his belief that music and video are now inextricably linked.

Aside from original shows/documentaries, Apple also produces music videos for its top artists. In fact, the Apple Music team employs about 300 people from the entertainment business who are focused on satisfying every artist’s desire.

Iovine told Billboard today that Apple has “a bunch of other stuff” in the pipeline for Apple Music. Some of the upcoming video content will be things “that people are involved in with pop culture and that we think will be great for our audience,” he said.

The executive previously detailed Apple Music’s efforts to become “an overall moment in popular culture” to The Hollywood Reporter. “What we’re trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video,” he said at the time.

“We’re going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose,” he added.

Iovine is the former head of Interscope and Beats who became the CEO and Chairman of Apple Music following Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics LLC in May 2014.

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek