Apple is typically very secretive about it’s future plans, but one of Cupertino’s executives seems to be exempt from that shroud of privacy. That would be Jimmy Iovine, one of the heads of Apple Music, who recently gave a lengthy interview to Bloomberg. Thanks to this spirit of openness, we’ve learned that Iovine is planning even more ventures into video, including some that go well beyond the stream music industry.
Almost a Dozen Original Series
Including several documentaries and will.i.am’s “Planet of the Apps,” we know that Apple Music is planning as many as 10 original series by the end of the year. Iovine told Bloomberg, “For a music streaming service, we’re building a very decent slate.” The executive wouldn’t tell Bloomberg what those series are, but he did provide some hints.
We know, for example, that Iovine is pretty heavily focused on music-related video, including a possible sequel to “Trapped in the Closet,” R. Kelly’s rap opera. The music executive has also been in talks with Warner Bros. Television to develop a show loosely based on Dr. Dre’s life. Iovine also said he plans to eventually move beyond music, having discussed ideas with the likes of Brian Grazer, producer of “Empire” and “Genius.” He has even talked to director J.J. Abrams.
Money Gives You Freedom to Experiment With More Than Just Streaming Music
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.- Jimmy Iovine
There’s no telling how long Apple Music will stay in the video business, but the idea is for the venture to become what Bloomberg calls a “one-stop shop for pop culture.” Iovine says that Apple Music needs to be much more than just songs and playlists, and that’s one reason Cupertino is giving him so much leeway.
Apple Music has the financial freedom to experiment.
The amount of money Cupertino has in the bank helps tremendously, Iovine admits. “We have the freedom, because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t until it feels good.” The upcoming series “Carpool Karaoke” is expected to be a big hit, given the popularity of James Corden’s late-night segment, but it keeps getting delayed.
That, too, is demonstrative of Apple’s financial freedom, which Iovine seems to be embracing with a philosophy of moving slowly and deliberately. “We’re gonna grow slowly no matter what,” the executive told Bloomberg. “I don’t know how to do it fast.”
Don’t Take Apple Music Out of the Oven, It’s Not Done Yet
Apple Music is still growing and evolving, and Iovine said the service “is nowhere near complete in my head.” Cupertino’s streaming music offering is still in second place behind Spotify, with 20 million subscribers compared to the competitor’s more than 50 million premium members. Don’t count out Iovine and his crew, though.
Apple Music will market Carpool Karaoke, and others, like they're TV shows
Iovine has 300 people from the entertainment business working to satisfy every artist’s desire, which he believes will give Apple Music a serious edge over its competitors. Spotify tried, and failed, to get into the video business, but the app’s inability to display video very prominently really hurt those efforts. Iovine said that Apple isn’t going to make that same mistake.
“We’re going to market it like it’s a TV show,” Iovine said. That’s already being proven, since Cupertino bought a TV spot for “Carpool Karaoke” during the Grammys. The next version of the Apple Music app for iOS, coming this fall in iOS 11, will reportedly “better showcase video.”
Ignore the Criticism, Apple Music Should Evolve Into Something Truly Great
Previous reports of what Apple is doing in Hollywood have been pretty critical. One such criticism claims that Cupertino has sent mixed signals to Hollywood over the years about its interest in original content. Make no mistake, though, Iovine seems pretty serious. He’s had breakfast meetings with celebrity James Corden and producer Ben Winston, and has the entertainment industry connections to really make Apple Music take off.
The plans already in the works are sure to succeed in making Apple Music better known in the entertainment industry. Many of Cupertino’s top names have made it clear that the service is still growing and evolving. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple Music has a “toe in the water,” testing original content. Bozoma Saint John, Apple Music’s Head of Global Marketing, said that the service is “developing something very special and we just want people to pay attention.”