Apple’s move into original video goes further than previously thought.

If you want to know who to blame for the ‘Hotline Bling’ memes look no further: Recode has reported that Apple financed the video that turned Drake into a one man meme-machine last year.

While Apple hasn’t been shouting about its move into video production, a source says that the company has financed several music videos as a way of increasing the marketing reach of Apple Music.

Apple was more vocal about its involvement in the production of the exclusive Taylor Swift concert documentary it streamed last year, but it was ‘Hotline Bling’ that raised more awareness of the streaming service, where the video was available exclusively for a week in October.

The information comes shortly after the news that Apple is producing Vital Signs, a six-part TV series made with the involvement of Dr. Dre and reportedly being distributed through Apple Music. It suggests Apple’s move into video content is less an attempt to carve out some of Netflix’s market share and more to compete with Spotify and Tidal, both of which are working on their own original video content to augment their music streaming businesses.

The ‘Hotline Bling’ video may have outstayed its welcome thanks to the memes it spawned, but Apple Music’s strategy appears to be working. Last month it was reported the service had reached 10m subscribers, half the number of Spotify.



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