You stand around for ages waiting for a streaming music service to make a documentary about a band, a record label or a genre and then three show up at once. Etc. Possibly on the back on an exclusive deal with Cash Money and its artists (see yesterday’s bulletin), Apple Music is reportedly making a documentary about the label whose roster includes Drake, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. Oh, and Paris Hilton.
It’s not Apple’s first move into original video content – it did the Taylor Swift tour film at the end of last year as well as bankrolling Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ video. On top of that, it has the Planet Of The Apps reality show coming as well as a deal to make Carpool Karaoke shows. There is no launch date (yet) for the Cash Money documentary – but there are dates for Spotify’s latest documentaries. A trailer for Metallica: The Early Years documentary is on YouTube and the full film, which is part of Spotify’s Landmark series, is coming later today (18th August). Back in December 2012, the band finally licensed their music for streaming, giving Spotify the initial exclusive (and there were suggestions they also got equity in Spotify as part of the deal), so they have a tight history. Finally, How EDM Changed The World is about how EDM, well, changed the world (which is, admittedly, an animated short rather than something in the spirit of Robert Flaherty or DA Pennebaker). The battle for dominance in streaming is now being fought on multiple fronts. No one is (outside of family packages) going to start to undercut the $£€9.99 monthly fee so they are trying to come up with the biggest exclusives, the best discovery/recommendations and the most interesting non-audio content. Tidal recently ran a documentary on the 20th anniversary of Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt (plus Beyoncé Lemonade “visual album” is still a streaming exclusive there). None of them are going to eat Netflix’s lunch just yet, but they are all seeing documentaries as yet another hook among many to attract users and, more importantly, hold them.