Apple Music is expanding its catalogue… with music videos. From today, Apple will have a catalogue of music videos – including curated playlists – sitting within its subscription service.
Apple is describing this as “one of the most extensive music-video catalogues available” – without a specific number on that, although we’ve asked and will update this story if the company offers a figure – and will make it available through its iOS and Android Apple Music apps, as well as through its Apple TV box.
The company is kicking off with some exclusive premieres of videos from A Tribe Called Quest, Beck, Kylie Minogue, and Sabrina Carpenter and Jonas Blue, as well as emerging artist Yebba.
The curated playlists, meanwhile, include Today’s Video Hits, The A-List: Pop Videos, and Classic Dance Moves. Apple says its subscribers will also be able to build their own video playlists.
Why is this significant? To this point, music-streaming services and music-video services have largely been separate: Spotify, Apple Music and others in the former camp, and YouTube and Vevo in the other.
Tidal was one of the first to buck that trend, in its previous incarnation as Scandinavian streaming service WiMP, which added music videos in early 2014.
Apple Music, of course, has incorporated video, but rather than shortform music videos it has focused on longer-form documentaries. Spotify, meanwhile, has pursued several strategies, from licensing in YouTube-style content to commissioning its own music-themed shows – and now focusing on filming original video to embed in its flagship playlists.
Perhaps the most important context to Apple Music’s move today, though, is YouTube. Google’s video service is preparing to revamp and relaunch its YouTube Red subscription tier with a big focus on music – and it was expected to be the deepest combination of audio and music-video streaming yet.
2018 has also seen speculation about Vevo’s next moves, with the company’s distribution partnership with YouTube up for renewal this year. Facebook has been seen as a potential new partner, while Apple Music has also been mentioned in that context.
Although possibly the latter less so from now on, given today’s news.