“Taylor Swift lives at Apple Music, Drake lives at Apple Music, with so many other artists. They use the product. This isn’t a toothpaste ad. This is a place where their ideas are carried through with respect and reverence.”
That’s Apple’s head of content Larry Jackson talking about the latest Apple Music ad, which sees Taylor Swift preparing for a night out by singing along to Jimmy Eat World on the Jukebox Hits: ’00s Alternative Rock playlist – shortly after her first Apple Music ad saw her falling off a treadmill to the sound of Drake’s ‘Jumpman’.
“I’ve had this idea for a few years, that you could have this creative haven for artists, and there could be synergy among these people in the clubhouse, and this campaign is a perfect manifestation of that,” Jackson told Fast Company, about the way Apple is approaching its Apple Music ads.
Particularly those with Swift: “Our strategy is to actually roll this campaign out like we would a record. You release one single, it’s got a certain longevity, then the next single drops. What we’re doing here, to avoid it all fading out too soon, is using the same cadence as an album—spot comes out, hype dies down two week later, then out comes another spot, same thing happens, then drop the next one.”
These are ads, but Apple’s plans for original video content are gathering pace in other ways. Having already announced plans for TV-style shows involving Dr Dre and Will I Am, Apple was recently courting filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival at its ‘iTunes Lounge’.
FastCo described the company’s “two-lane approach” to original content. The first: “A slate of short films, music videos, and documentaries that will be built around musicians and friends of Dr. Dre and his Beats partner, Jimmy Iovine… The idea is to use this content (such as the two-hour Taylor Swift concert movie that Apple released last December and the Vice documentary The Score in late March) to promote Apple Music.”
More advertising, then, but it’s more evidence that for the biggest streaming services, the notion of ‘exclusives’ is going beyond simply securing major artists’ albums for a week or two before rivals. Video is growing in strategic priority.
But what about Apple’s second ‘lane’ in original content? “An effort to do what Amazon and Netflix have done for their tens of millions of users: offer its own original TV-style entertainment,” claimed FastCo. “Apple being Apple, though, it not only wants to find its own House of Cards, but it wants several of them at once…”