Hands up if you predicted that one of 2019’s more intriguing areas of competition in the music industry would be Netflix versus YouTube – in the field of original music documentaries. YouTube’s latest salvo in this battle is ‘How to Be: Mark Ronson’, a feature-length documentary set to drop on 12 October. It’s a blend of archive footage and new interviews with Ronson, his musical collaborators and other industry figures.
As with other YouTube Original shows, the documentary will be made available for free, supported by ads, although subscribers to the YouTube Premium service will be getting bonus content of some kind (and possibly a director’s cut) in line with YouTube’s recent shift in policy.
The credits slate is a sign of the welly YouTube is putting behind these kinds of commissions (just like Netflix): the Ronson documentary is a partnership between Livewire Pictures, BBC Music and Eagle Rock Entertainment. It’ll be followed in November by another long-form doc: ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’. This week also sees the debut of YouTube’s original docu-series about a group of K-Pop artists (from the groups TVXQ! and Super Junior) taking a trip to Indonesia.