Apple has just expanded its streaming services with its own answer to MTV — a 24-hour livestream of music videos and related content that is effectively to Apple TV+ what Apple Music 1 (formerly Beats 1) is to Apple Music.
According to Apple’s announcement reported on by Variety, the new service, which has been given the somewhat uninspiring name Apple Music TV, will include a “free 24-hour curated livestream of popular music videos” along with “exclusive new music videos and premiers, special curated music video blocks, and live shows and events as well as chart countdowns and guests.”
At this point Apple Music TV is debuting in the U.S. only, but will be available in the Browse tab in both the Apple TV and Apple Music apps, as well as on the web at http://apple.co/AppleMusicTV (although if you visit this link from an iPad, iPhone, or Mac, it will simply open directly in the Apple TV app).
The new service went online somewhat quietly this morning with a countdown of the top 100 songs in the U.S. most streamed on Apple Music, although according to Variety there’s more to come, including an “all day Bruce takeover” on Thursday to coincide with the release of Springsteens’ “Letter to You” album, which will include his most popular music videos, an exclusive interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, and a special live-streamed event for fans.
Then on Friday the service will host two new exclusive video premieres for Joji’s “777” and Saint Jhn’s “Gorgeous”; Apple is expected to follow that with more new video premieres every Friday at 12:00 p.m. ET.
What Else Is Coming?
At this point there don’t seem to be too many other details, and it’s definitely a soft launch on Apple’s part, shared with media outlets like Variety as opposed to a direct press release on Apple’s Newsroom site (although of course that could still be coming).
The MTV-esque nature and Lowe’s involvement suggests that it will probably remain fairly closely tied with Apple Music 1, although unlike the somewhat more contemporary and edgy content found on Apple’s flagship radio channel, Apple Music TV seems to be taking a slightly more traditional road, considering Apple’s choice to launch with a classic artist like Bruce Springsteen.
Despite the large selection of music videos available for on-demand streaming on Apple Music — something that most of its premium streaming rivals don’t offer — interest in this has dwindled in recent years as YouTube and Vevo began dominating the music video landscape by offering free ad-supported viewing. Apple Music TV is undoubtedly Apple’s attempt to pull some of this attention back on Apple’s own streaming service.
It’s also notable that Apple hasn’t said anything about featuring music documentaries on the new channel, despite having a pretty established track record in this area.
Apple has already produced several documentaries that were distributed via Apple Music, and of course it also has the big-budget Billie Eilish documentary coming to theatres in February. For now at least, however, it sounds like these will be something separate and distinct from Apple Music TV.
However, Apple Music has produced a wide range of original content from the days long before Apple TV+ was even in the rumour mill; in fact, back in 2016 many speculated that Apple Music was going to be the foundation for Apple’s expansion into video streaming, and certainly shows like Carpool Karaoke supported this belief.
Whether this was ever part of Apple’s strategy is unclear — there were indications that it was a direction some executives were pushing toward internally — but at this point it seems like Apple Music TV is the amalgamation of these efforts, as Apple’s announcement touches on the concern films, interviews, and other content that’s previously been released directly on Apple Music, noting that it will “now also have a home on Apple Music TV.”