With iTunes content sales on a rapid decline, Apple is hedging its bets on the company’s exclusive, two-year-old music streaming platform, Apple Music, in hopes of upping the ante on competitors like Spotify and Pandora when iOS 11 touches down later on this fall, according to a report published on Thursday by Bloomberg.
Specifically, what Apple hopes to do is take the vast library of artist tracks and albums already available to Apple Music subscribers, and blend in a heaping dose of Hollywood-inspired pop-culture — namely in the form of up to 10 original content series that will focus on the thriving app economy, and other captivating content that will effectively “turn Apple’s music-streaming service into a one-stop shop for pop culture,” according to the report.
In addition to video content including original series like will.i.am’s Planet of the Apps — a unique Shark Tank-style spin-off where app developers seek capital to get their titles in the hands of users, and a spin-off of James Corden’s popular celebrity sing-along, Carpool Karaoke, Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine revealed to Bloomberg that the music streaming service, come iOS 11, will incorporate a slate of new video-centric features.
“A music service needs to be more than a bunch of songs and a few playlists,” Iovine said, while adding that “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.”
Of course, while Apple Music’s penetration of video programming could ultimately prove to be an equally brief and costly endeavor, if Iovine succeeds in bringing his vision to the millions of monthly subscribers, Apple could ultimately increase its investment in the expansion of video-centric features — routinely competing for top projects, or recruiting top talent to produce original series all their own.
“We have the freedom, because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t work until it feels good,” Iovine added.
Though Iovine’s optimism might suggest that sky is the limit, he was sure to admit that, at least for the time being, Apple will try to focus on music-related video content — with plans already in place to release the aforementioned original content exclusively to Apple Music subscribers by the end of the year. Iovine also admitted to speaking with executives from Warner Bros. Television, as well as famed Hollywood producer Brian Grazer and director J.J. Abrams about possible endeavors for the future.
Apple Music currently has about 20 million monthly subscribers, making it the second-most popular music streaming service behind the 50-million-strong Spotify. It’s highly likely that by expanding the service to incorporate original, compelling content, Apple could one day rise in the ranks to become the number one choice for content lovers.
“Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head,” Iovine said.