October 23, 2020
On October 19, Apple premiered Apple Music TV, a free 24-hour curated live stream of popular videos including what the company says are “exclusive new music videos and premiers, special curated music video blocks, and live shows and events as well as chart countdowns and guests.” The new service will, at first, be available to U.S. residents only on the Apple Music and Apple TV apps. The service launched with a countdown of the top 100 “most-streamed” songs in the U.S. and held an all-day Bruce Springsteen special event on October 22.
Variety reports that Apple Music TV celebrated Springsteen’s new “Letter to You” album with an “all day Bruce takeover” that included “an interview with Zane Lowe, anchor of Apple Music’s radio station, and a special live-stream fan event.” Lowe’s presence signals potential ties between Apple’s new station and the company’s existing music programming.
The service will premiere new videos every Friday at noon ET; first up are “new exclusive video premieres” of Joji’s “777” and Saint Jhn’s “Gorgeous.” Variety adds that, “the move is the long-anticipated culmination of years of speculation and talk about when and how the company would move into the music video space, which has long been dominated by YouTube, Vevo and, in the past, MTV.”
At launch, however, Apple said nothing about music documentaries, which “is a format the company has already invested in — most notably the forthcoming Billie Eilish feature-length doc ‘The World’s a Little Blurry,’ which is scheduled for release in February.” But its announcement does promise that Apple Music TV will be home to “concert films, interviews” and other original content. Apple Music TV can be found in the browse tab of Apple Music and Apple TV apps.
Business Insider reports that, “MTV popularized the music video channel concept in the 1980s, long before YouTube and Vevo became the go-to places to view them.” MTV in the 1980s and 1990s, and later VH1 “popularized how people could watch music videos.” YouTube, it notes, has dominated music videos “for the past decade as more and more artists and listeners turned online.”
Apple Music TV is “yet another move by the company to set itself apart in the audio and video streaming landscapes,” similar to its rollout of the “Planet of the Apes” TV series in early 2017 and, in 2019, its TV Plus streaming service.