Apple has given a blank cheque to Drake to create whatever film and movies he wants
Thursday - 09/11/2017 08:58
ONE of the world’s largest companies has given a “blank cheque” to help create content to take down Netflix.
LONG before Drake was a powerhouse rapper, he famously got his start for his role as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Now Apple is hoping the Canadian rap superstar can channel his younger actor days to help the tech giant continue its push into the world of film and television streaming.
The company is planning to spend billions on video content in the next few years and one of Apple’s top executives, Jimmy Iovine, said Drake has the “go-ahead” to produce whatever shows or movies he wants using these funds.
Drake already has strong connections to the company, with the rapper being one of the few non-Apple executives to receive major stage time when he introduced the Apple Music app at a developer conference in 2015.
Vice president of media apps and content at Apple Music Robert Kondrk said Drake has already been one of the companies most valuable partners, with his most recent album Views being the first to exceed one billion plays on the service.
“Drake almost single-handedly helped us become culturally relevant from the day we launched [in 2015],” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Jimmy Iovine shared similar sentiments for the rap star.
“If I had a company today, I would give it to Drake and Future to run in a minute. They’re incredibly talented guys. Very, very gifted,” he said.
Earlier this year, Apple said it committed $A1.2 billion to procure and produce its own original content in 2018.
The budget falls well short of the $A7.5 billion Netflix spent this year, but according to the people familiar with the plan, Apple plans to acquire and produce as many as 10 television shows, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Comparatively, the amount is about half of what HBO spent on content last year and on par with estimates of what Amazon spent when it announced its move to original programming in 2013.
As part of its plan to enter into the crowded online streaming service market, the iPhone manufacturer has poached two long-time Sony Pictures Television executives responsible for some of the most widely acclaimed programming of the past decade.
Having served as presidents for Sony Pictures Television since 2005, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg played an instrumental role in developing the likes of Breaking Bad, The Crown and Better Call Saul.
Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue said the company hoped to benefit from the addition of the two men, who more than tripled Sony’s slate of original prime time series under their leadership.
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” he said at the time.
This isn’t the first time Apple has made a push into creating video content, with the tech giant recently purchasing the rights to its own version of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.
The first 16 half-hour episodes feature Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande, John Legend, Metallica and Will Smith performing “carpool karaoke” with rotating hosts.
Building on its partnership with hip hop heavyweight Dr Dre, Apple has also announced its working on a semi-autobiographical documentary series about the famed rapper called Vital Signs, which is expected to premiere on Apple Music early next year.
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