Apple turns video producer to get you to switch to its music service

Apple Music
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Apple is producing videos for some of the world’s biggest music acts to be released exclusively on Apple Music, according to a report from Pitchfork. Presumably the tech giant hopes that music videos you can’t see anywhere else will be enough to keep you sticking around past your free trial and help it take customers away from the likes of Spotify and Rdio.

Drake’s “Energy” video is the first out of the gate, showing the hip-hop star impersonating Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, and many more — though we were having problems getting the clip to load early on Saturday morning. It’s the first video cut from Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late album.

Pitchfork says videos from the likes of Pharrell, Eminem, M.I.A., Purity Ring, Diddy, and James Bay are on the way as part of an “original content initiative” plotted by Apple. Apple Music head of content Larry Jackson enthusiastically promoted Drake’s new clip via his Twitter account yesterday, though the #AppleMusicBreaksTheInternet hashtag may be a little optimistic.

Apple has made no official comment on its ambitions as a music video producer, but the company has already been enlisting the help of high-profile acts for interviews and slots on the Beats 1 radio station. If anyone can make star power count in the battle of the music streaming services, it’s Apple. Human curation is also being pushed as a key differentiator for the new platform.

Apple Music launched at the end of June with the arrival of iOS 8.4 but so far Apple hasn’t revealed how many users have signed up for the three-month trial that’s available. Once the trial ends, there’s no Spotify-style free tier: If you want to continue to access the Apple Music library, you’ll need to throw in $9.99 per month.

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