Apple bought new music documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, revealing the acquisition prior to the film’s opening night screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The documentary is based on the best-selling autobiography by Davis, the legendary music exec who played a key role developing artists from the 1960s through the rise of hip-hop.
“Apple is a global innovator that has revolutionized the distribution of music,” Davis said, following the announcement. “It is a touching honor to share the music and unique stories that have shaped my career with millions of Apple Music subscribers around the world. I am overjoyed to work with them to continue this incredible journey!”
The documentary is directed by Chris Perkel. It’s produced by Scott Free, the company co-founded by Ridley Scott, who directed the iconic “1984” Macintosh commercial.
There’s no word on when the documentary will roll out, but reportedly it will stream on Apple Music (just like all of Apple’s other ventures into original television content thus far). A Variety review describes the documentary as a fun journey through Davis’ colorful career, although it noted you’re unlikely to learn much new about the man from the film.
All about growing Apple Music
The documentary fits comfortably within Apple’s remit of acquiring music-oriented film content, with the potential to skew toward a hip-hop audience, as Apple tries to appeal to younger fans. Along with older artists like Janis Joplin and Bruce Springsteen, Davis played a role in developing artists like Alicia Keys and Sean “Puffy” Combs.
Previously, Apple acquired documentaries about the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine and popular hip-hop record label Cash Money Records. (Label co-founder Birdman described Apple’s acquisition of The Cash Money Story as a “power move.”)
In all these cases, Apple is attempting to grow its Apple Music brand by focusing on musical subjects. The strategy stands in contrast to Amazon and Netflix, which deliver more wide-ranging content through their own combing of film festivals and original commissions.
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