This week Apple announced its first-ever Apple Music awards, with pop sensation Billie Eilish taking top honours not only for Global Artist of the Year but also Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, sharing the latter award with her co-writer and brother, FINNEAS.
So it’s little surprise that Eilish has been tagged to be the subject of Apple’s latest music documentary, but what’s more interesting is that the days of documentaries and other video programming on Apple Music may be coming to an end.
Over the years, Apple has released a number of documentaries on musicians, producers, and songwriters, featuring such stars as songwriter Ed Sheeran, legendary producer Clive Davis, label Bad Boy Records and its owner, rapper Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, and even a feature on the Roland 808 Drum Machine that included interviews from artists like New Order and Pharrell Williams.
Of course, in the days when Apple Music was the company’s only streaming platform, it didn’t really have too many options, and even shows like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps were launched as Apple Music titles, in an era when then-Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine was jockeying for the music streaming service to become the Apple video service.
Now that Apple TV+ is up and running, however, it makes sense that Apple will want to showcase its work on what it’s hoping will be the crown jewel among its services, and it’s not sparing any expense to do so, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Eilish and Apple are currently putting together a $25 million deal to bring the documentary to Apple TV+.
The film, which follows the 17-year-old singer-songwriter in the days and weeks after the release of her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, has apparently already been shot in collaboration with Eilish’s label, Interscope Records. Cutler was reportedly given “deep access” to Eilish’s private moments with family and allowed to go behind-the-scenes of her public appearances.
Sources say the budget for the film was between $1 million and $2 million, and Eilish’s agents have been shopping around for a buyer. It’s unclear, however, whether Apple has simply outbid every other contender or if there are other reasons why Eilish may prefer to partner with Apple on this one; it’s certainly possible her recent wins at Apple’s inaugural Apple Music Awards may have encouraged her to keep it in the family.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, however, the choice to run the documentary on Apple TV+ blurs the lines a bit between Apple’s mainstream services. This could disappoint those music fans who have embraced Apple Music as not just a place to listen to their favourite songs but to immerse themselves in everything they can about their favourite artists and the music industry in general.
Apple Music was a one-stop shop for music fans, but if the Eilish documentary is a sign of things to come, fans may soon need to also need to grab an Apple TV+ subscription if they want to follow shows about their favourite artists. Of course, Apple wants customers to subscribe to as many of its services as possible, but it’s more likely this is another compelling reason for Apple to offer a super-bundle of all of its services. In the meantime, however, at least students can get Apple TV+ at no additional charge with an Apple Music subscription.