Apple Music adds dedicated Music Videos feature, denies axing downloads
In two significant moves, Apple Music has updated its app to include a dedicated Music Videos feature containing thousands of titles – and denied reports doing their rounds last week that it intended to abandon digital downloads in early 2019.
The Music Video feature was introduced late last week with minimal fanfare.
In early 2018, Apple signalled it would officially introduce the designated Music Videos section when it announced it was launching the iOS 11.3 update.
The unexpected addition seems to suggest that iOS 11.3 is not too far away.
The Music Video section is for $9.99 monthly subscribers only.
They already have access to unlimited ad-free videos, can now find the latest releases by popular acts via the Browse panel and, soon, create their own video playlists.
The stress is on exclusive premieres: among these at launch were Kylie Minogue’s ‘Stop Me From Falling’, Beck’s ‘Colors’, A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘The Space Program’, Sabrina Carpenter & Jonas Blue’s ‘Alien’ and a live performance video of the debut single ‘Evergreen’ from new Chance The Rapper discovery, Yebba aka Abbey Smith who has a mind-blowing vocal range.
The feature includes Apple-curated sections like “Today’s Video Hits” and playlists as Groundbreaking Videos, ‘80s Video Hits, Today’s Country, The A-List: K-Pop and Classic Dance Moves.
There are spotlights on particular artists (the first was Taylor Swift, presumably to combat the fact that Swift premiered her updated new video for ‘Delicate’ exclusively on Spotify) and video recommendations based on listening habits.
In addition, Apple Music continues its long-form videos series.
The latest release is The Chainsmokers – Memories multi-series documentary, which follows life on the road for them as they play around the world, and previews tracks from their December 2018 album.
In another battle over music videos, speculation is that with Vevo’s contract with YouTube coming to an end, it will head towards Facebook.
Now that Facebook has struck licensing video deals with Universal, Sony/TV and Warner Music, three-year-old rumours that it’s to launch a streaming service, have begun buzzing again.
Apple insiders have also rejected the story doing the rounds early last week that the tech giant was planning to kill off all music downloads in iTunes next year in order to “force” users into an Apple Music subscription streaming plan.
The story started with a blogger for Baeble Music who claimed Apple Music’s head of music Jimmy Iovine had made the claim.
It turned out that Iovine had said no such thing.
He had in a wide-ranging interview on the BBC made two comments. One was that CD and vinyl were out-selling downloads (no secret there) and the second was that any features that didn’t sell would ultimately be scrapped.
Rivals Google and Facebook leapt on the story, and major media outlets followed suit without double checking with Apple – especially since it currently makes more money from downloads than streaming.