Published Feb 16, 2016Back in October, Drake took viral music videos to new heights with the release of his "Hotline Bling" clip, spawning countless cover versions and parodies. The track still hasn't gone away, and it certainly hasn't shied away from going corporate, as demonstrated in a recent Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile. Now, though, it seems as if the hit has benefitted from commercial backing from the very beginning.
The unforgettable, meme-generating video was apparently financed by Apple Music. The company released the video last fall, streaming it exclusively for one week before unleashing it upon the masses via platforms like YouTube and VEVO — a move many blamed for the song missing out on Billboard's coveted No. 1 spot, since Apple Music does not report its video streams to Nielsen Music.
As Recode reports, Apple Music has quietly been producing its own original video content for a while now — including the "Hotline Bling" video. That realization comes following the announcement of Apple's first original program, a semi-autobiographical drama about the life of Dr. Dre called Vital Signs.
According to Recode's sources, Apple Music is producing content "to extend Apple Music" — essentially paying for original, exclusive content as a means to market its streaming services. So, while there may be more original content coming our way via Apple, it seems as if future exclusives may be more of a suave marketing campaign than an attempt to match the creative output of services like Netflix.
Apple Music also financed and released the Taylor Swift concert special The 1989 World Tour Live late last year. At this time, the live music doc remains available exclusively through Apple Music.
In case you've been hibernating for the last five months, check out the original video for Drake's "Hotline Bling" in the player below.