iOS 11 will bring new focus on original videos from Apple Music

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Carpool Karaoke
Enjoy Carpool Karaoke without an Apple Music subscription.
Photo: Apple

iOS 11 will deliver a new Music app with a focus on original videos, according to Jimmy Iovine. The Apple Music chief says the service could add many as 10 original video series by the end of this year, including Carpool Karaoke and will.i.am’s Planet of the Apps, while Apple is also in talks to secure content from J.J. Abrams and R. Kelly.

Apple has been using content to sell its products for almost as long as it has been making computers. Much of the iPod’s success can be attributed to the iTunes Music Store, which opened its doors in 2003, offering individual tracks for just 99 cents.

Apple is now betting big on content that could keep fans tied to Apple Music and its iOS devices — content that won’t be available elsewhere. Following in the footsteps of Amazon and Netflix, it is planning a bunch of original TV series that will be distributed through its Apple Music platform.

“Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head,” Iovine told Bloomberg. With 30 million fewer paying subscribers than Spotify, Apple knows it has its work cut out if it wants to catch up and take over. “We’re gonna grow slowly no matter what,” he said. “I don’t know how to do it fast.”

Iovine believes that Apple’s edge is the 300 people he already employs from the entertainment business, who help make movies or “visual albums” for his artists. Of course, the company’s massive bank balance is also an advantage.

“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 said.

Iovine’s main goal is to make Apple Music more than just “a bunch of songs and a few playlists.” He wants it to be “an overall movement in popular culture,” offering everything from unsigned bands to original video programming.

And once Apple has its own series, it won’t make the same mistake as Spotify in allowing them to be forgotten.

“We’re going to market it like it’s a TV show,” he said, referring to Carpool Karaoke, which just got postponed because it’s still unfinished. “You’re going to know this is out.”

How Jimmy Iovine drives Apple Music

Iovine’s ideas and tactics sometimes get him into trouble, Bloomberg reports. “He’s taken meetings with artists and made arrangements to release music without telling anyone in advance, frustrating colleagues. He’s persuaded artists to release music exclusively with Apple, frustrating record labels.”

But Iovine’s drive could help Apple Music eventually overtake Spotify to become the world’s biggest streaming service, bringing in yet more revenue for Apple and reducing its reliance on the iPhone.

Before Iovine and Dr. Dre sold Beats to Apple, Iovine shopped the business to Netflix. He wanted the two to merge, bringing music and video together into a single platform. Iovine believes that’s where the industry is headed, but Netflix “wasn’t ready” to take on music.

To most of us, Apple Music currently plays a minor role in Apple’s business. But it is clearly expected to become much more significant in the years ahead, and Apple has no intention of giving up on it anytime soon.