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Apple Music's marketing strategy is a 'clubhouse' for artists

April 18, 2016

Apple Music has a new advertisement out, and Cupertino’s head of content Larry Jackson has revealed how the new spot demonstrates the marketing strategy behind the streaming service. Speaking with Fast Co.Create, Jackson talked about how the new ad showcasing Taylor Swift lip syncing to Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” came to be and how it reflects Cupertino’s vision for all of the Apple Music spots.

Jackson pointed out that Swift actually came to Apple with the idea for the promotional video, and that’s precisely what Cupertino wants to happen. Referring to Apple Music as a “clubhouse” for artists, Jackson says the tech giant wants “to be able to allow artists to come here and have their ideas happen in their purest form.”


Taylor Swift lives at Apple Music, Drake lives at Apple Music, with so many other artists. They use the product. This isn’t a toothpaste ad. This is a place where their ideas are carried through with respect and reverence.

- Larry Jackson, Apple's director of content

No ad agency was involved in the spot, according to Jackson. It was just Swift, Jackson, and director Anthony Mandler, with the goal to take Swift’s ideas and turn them into something that was more than just another advertisement. Jackson sees a parallel between this strategy and that of the music industry, with the executive acting like a “producer” to the artist’s “song.”

Jackson points out the campaign is a multipart one, but stopped short of saying how many more advertisements Swift might star in. Two weeks ago, Swift was in a clumsy treadmill ad, and in the timing Jackson sees another parallel with the music industry.


Our strategy is to actually roll this campaign out like we would a record. You release one single, it’s got a certain longevity, then the next single drops. What we’re doing here, to avoid it all fading out too soon, is using the same cadence as an album—spot comes out, hype dies down two week later, then out comes another spot, same thing happens, then drop the next one. So we’re using the same approach with spots as we would with singles.

- Larry Jackson, Apple's director of content

This is certainly an interesting move on Apple’s part, letting artists pitch them ideas for advertising spots. I’ll be anxious to see how it works out in terms of drawing in more subscribers. Check out the latest Apple Music ad below, or click here if the video fails to load.