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It seems that Apple Music hasn’t completely abandoned its own video production efforts, despite now being overshadowed by Apple TV+, and is set to begin co-producing a music-related video series to be hosted on the Apple Music service, rather than on the Apple TV+ platform.
The series, Verified, has already been in production by digital media company Genius for a few years now, and features interviews with major artists such as Billie Eilish, J Balvin, Ice Cube, Chance the Rapper, and Cardi B, where they explain the meanings behind the lyrics of their hit songs. Verified debuted in 2016, and Genius has already produced over 800 episodes of the series, but now it’s teaming up with Apple to co-produce new episodes which will be premiered exclusively on Apple Music.
Genius shared the news in a press release this week, describing it as a “first-of-its-kind partnership for both companies” and announcing the two latest instalments of the show, which will feature Alec Benjamin talking about his song, Mind is a Prison, and Yung Baby Tate on her track, CAMP.
Genius is promising that a brand-new episode of Verified will debut each weekday, Monday through Friday, although despite the statement that they’ll premiere exclusively on Apple Music, it seems they’ll also arrive on Genius.com, and Genius’ YouTube channel at some point, although it’s not clear when.
According to The Verge, Genius has no specific plans to make older episodes available on Apple Music, although in its press release, Genius Chief Strategy Officer Ben Gross suggests that the longer-term goal is to have a Verified episode listed on Apple Music alongside every hit song.
We see a bright yellow future where every hit song on Apple Music has a companion Verified episode featuring the lyrics and meaning, straight from the artists themselves. This is the first step towards that reality.
Ben Gross, Chief Strategy Officer, Genius
Based on this strategy, it’s easy to see how the association with Apple Music makes more sense than Apple TV+, since the goal here seems to be more about creating a library of additional content for Apple Music rather than publishing an episodic show in its own right.
This deal also extends the relationship that Apple and Genius already have, where Genius powers the lyrics for many of the songs on Apple Music, while Apple enjoys placement as the official music player on Genius.com, which allows Apple Music users to play songs directly on Genius.com without leaving the site.
Genius’ relationship with Apple isn’t entirely exclusive, however, as it also has a partnership with Apple’s chief rival, Spotify, to power its “Behind the Lyrics” feature, and also has a somewhat contentious relationship with Google. However, Apple and Genius seem to enjoy the most solid relationship, particularly after Apple Music became the company’s official music player back in 2018, which was also a major coup for the streaming service.
Verified is also one of Genius’ most important projects, so teaming up with Apple as the “official music streaming partner” for the series is actually a pretty big deal not only for Apple and Genius, but also for the artists that will be involved, who will presumably get even more exposure and enjoy a closer relationship with Apple Music.