Jimmy Iovine says music not enough, confirms Apple’s interest in ‘pop culture’ TV shows

Apple exec Jimmy Iovine has lent weight to a WSJ report that Apple planned to offer scripted TV shows to Apple Music subscribers by the end of the year. The Hollywood Reporter reports Iovine telling TV critics that the company’s streaming music service needed to go beyond songs in order to grow.

The hope for Apple is that it will be better able to compete with streaming music competitors like Spotify and Pandora, which are largely free for users: “We’re fighting ‘free.’ So a simple utility where, ‘here’s all the songs, here’s all the music, give me $10 and we’re cool,’ is not going to scale.”

Iovine specifically confirmed that video content offered by the service would not be exclusively focused on the music industry …

At Apple Music, what we’re trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video. If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say you’re not musicians, you know? We’re going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose.

Hollywood Reporter suggests that Vital Signs, a ‘dark drama’ series produced by – and starring – Dr Dre might be among the shows offered. The show is said to have been made for, and financed by, Apple.

The half-hour series, which is described as a dark drama, is said to consist of six episodes. Veteran music video director Paul Hunter is attached as a director on Vital Signs, which also is being produced under his Eye Candy banner along with Aaron Ginsburg and William Green. Empire co-executive producer-writer Robert Munic wrote all six episodes and also will exec produce. The first season will likely roll out all at once, taking a page from Netflix and Amazon’s release strategy.

Apple recently acquired the rights to Carpool Karaoke, and is working on a reality TV show focused on competitive app development, Planet of the Apps. 

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

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