Apple Music's Original TV Plans Now Include Potential Shows and Videos From J.J. Abrams and R. Kelly

Jimmy Iovine, one of the heads of Apple Music, has given multiple interviews and visions for the future of Apple's streaming music service over the past few months, mainly detailing how Apple Music will morph into "an entire pop cultural experience" with the advent of original video content. In an interview with Bloomberg posted online today, Iovine continued that pitch by stating, "I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture," detailing plans that include original shows and videos with partners like director J.J. Abrams and rapper R. Kelly.

The expansion of Apple Music beyond streaming new songs and music videos by artists began slowly for Apple, with the company releasing a tour documentary in partnership with Taylor Swift in 2015, as well as a 23-minute short film with Drake in 2016. Those modest beginnings have helped Apple learn what works and what doesn't, with Iovine stating, "We’re gonna grow slowly no matter what, I don’t know how to do it fast."

jimmy iovine red chair 2
Iovine further mentioned that Apple's vast resources provide the Apple Music team with enough room for betting on risky projects, so the service can "make one show, three shows" to see what viewers favor.

“A music service needs to be more than a bunch of songs and a few playlists,” says Iovine, 64. “I’m trying to help Apple Music be an overall movement in popular culture, everything from unsigned bands to video. We have a lot of plans.”

Apple Music’s foray into video programming could be a temporary dalliance, but if Iovine succeeds, the world’s wealthiest company could increase its investment, routinely competing for top projects. “We have the freedom, because it’s Apple, to make one show, three shows, see what works, see what doesn’t work until it feels good,” Iovine says.

Those slow-to-build plans apparently include a largely redesigned, "new edition" of the Apple Music app coming to iOS 11 this fall that will "better showcase video." Because of this update, Iovine said that Apple won't make the same mistakes that rival Spotify has made in producing original video content, but subsequently not promoting it enough to get people to watch. "We’re going to market it like it’s a TV show," Iovine mentioned. "You’re going to know this is out."

Currently, those shows include Carpool Karaoke: The Series and Planet of the Apps, although the former show was recently delayed indefinitely and the latter has only a vague spring launch date. In the immediate future, Iovine said that Apple Music's video ambitions are still very music-related, including Dr. Dre's Vital Signs, and Iovine even wants to produce a sequel to R. Kelly's rap opera Trapped in the Closet.

“For a music streaming service,” Iovine says, “we’re building a very decent slate.”

According to Carpool Karaoke producer Ben Winston, who helped sign the agreement to partner with Apple along with star James Corden, the mere fact that Apple is involved with producing these new shows is all it takes to get people excited to work with them. "If I call LeBron James and I name five networks or cable channels or even different online platforms, I’m not convinced he agrees to sit in a car," Winston says. "If you say you’re doing a new show for Apple, people get excited."

But the company's plans are far bigger than just original content that has a music slant, with Iovine having met with well-known Hollywood creatives to discuss "possible ideas," including director J.J. Abrams and producer Brian Grazer, although talks with Grazer regarding Imagine Entertainment are said to have "fizzled out" for unknown reasons. Of course, any specific details regarding what a J.J. Abrams-produced series on Apple Music might be were not given.

Previous reports of Apple's dealings in Hollywood have been largely critical of the Cupertino company's inability to forge ahead with a consistent, unified vision in the original content space. For Iovine, the almost-two-year-old service still has a ways to go. "Apple Music is nowhere near complete in my head," he said. Achieving his vision for the future of Apple Music has gotten Iovine in hot water with some of his colleagues, as well.

Some ideas get Iovine into trouble. He’s taken meetings with artists and made arrangements to release music without telling anyone in advance, frustrating colleagues. He’s persuaded artists to release music exclusively with Apple, frustrating record labels. But no one doubts his knack for bringing people together.

Everyone from Apple CEO Tim Cook to Apple Music executive Bozoma Saint John have reinforced Apple's future with original content coming to its music streaming service. Earlier this year during an earnings call, Cook said that Apple is starting off slow -- echoing Iovine's comment -- and has a "toe in the water" testing original content, while Saint John said of Apple Music as a whole: "We're developing something very special and we just want people to pay attention."

Top Rated Comments

dannyyankou Avatar
92 months ago
"Rapper" R. Kelly? Ehhhh.
It's a "golden" opportunity for Apple if you ask me.

Jokes aside, he has a gross past and don't want him associated with Apple.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
92 months ago
R. Kelly? I think Rap Opera must be a typo. Should it be (allegedly) Rape Opera?

Really, of all the talent out there, R. Kelly? Funny how TC always preaches Apple Values. Does R. Kelly represent those? Or is the first Apple Value $?
What Apple values does Dre represent? I still can't believe Apple paid $3B for this Iovine clown.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emt1 Avatar
92 months ago
R. Kelly is scum and it's disappointing that Apple is working with him.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
92 months ago
R. Kelly? I think Rap Opera must be a typo. Should it be (allegedly) Rape Opera?

Really, of all the talent out there, R. Kelly? Funny how TC always preaches Apple Values. Does R. Kelly represent those? Or is the first Apple Value $?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
92 months ago
Oh great. From a wife beater to an underage rapist. Apple really knows how to pick em.

Also what does Apple MUSIC have to do with TV shows.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yanki01 Avatar
92 months ago
i see a lot of blue light flare in the near future...but R Kelly? wasn't he hanging around a 12yr old some years back? c'mon.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...