Drake’s “Hotline Bling” Video Was Paid for by Apple
The most important video of 2015 was Drake's "Hotline Bling," with its washed out pastels and the irresistible dancing, but it wasn't Drake's record label who paid for it - it was Apple.
Re/code reports that Apple paid for the entire video "to extend Apple Music," says one insider. It's the same reason why they're doing an original TV show with Dr. Dre and why they also bankrolled a Taylor Swift concert movie.
This should come as no surprise. Drake signed some sort of deal with Apple music last summer, and with that deal quickly came OVO Sound Radio, his show on Beats 1. He's used that show to premiere new music and post songs like "Charged Up," "Back To Back," and "Right Hand" to Connect before they hit iTunes or Spotify. He also released the "Hotline Bling" video as an Apple exclusive, so naturally the company keeping the viewer in its ecosystem for as long as possible paid a sum for the right to do that.
It's also been reported that Drake will release his next album via Apple Music. It'll be curious to see whether he puts Views From The 6 on other digital retail platforms or, like Dr. Dre's Compton, it will only be available on Apple Music indefinitely.
Most intriguing of all, however, is how Apple is starting to behave like some sort of record label. Re/code says financing a music video is "content marketing" for the mega tech company. Isn't that part of what record labels do - market their artists and make budgets for videos?