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Dr. Dre's show is all about driving Apple Music subscriptions

A couple days ago it was reported that Dr. Dre would be starring in a new show for Apple — a show aimed at adults. That caused... Some confusion. Why would Apple kickstart its own shows with Dr. Dre, and with an adult-oriented show?

Peter Kafka, writing for re/code, touched on the rationale:

Apple has already been financing video content it uses to market Apple Music — "to extend Apple Music," in the words of an insider. And it's doing that with the Dre show. Full stop.

Simply put, Apple isn't starting a streaming video service. The company is creating content it thinks will drive subscriptions to an existing service — Apple Music.

Just like Game of Thrones drives subscriptions to HBO and Jessica Jones drives subscriptions to Netflix, Apple can use Dre to appeal to at least one market they want to attract — one that will subscribe just to see Dre being Dre. Maybe they'll also like all the music that comes with it and get even more value from the service, or maybe they'll simply stick around for the next episode, season, or show. It doesn't matter, as long as they stick around.

It's how subscription services work, and why you seldom if ever see traditional "ratings" for HBO or Netflix. It isn't about how successful a show is at attracting viewers to any particular episode. It's about how successful a show is at getting people to subscribe to the service.

Hot on the heels of Straight Outta Compton (opens in new tab), filled with sex and violence, a Dr. Dre show could absolutely do just that for Apple Music.

What's more, it could also open the door to other programming designed with the same purpose but other markets — and programming that could look very different than what we expect from Apple or currently get from other streaming services.

If done right, it could also build itself into a full video catalog, for whenever the company wants to pull that switch. And that's very Apple.

Would you subscribe to Apple Music to watch Dre's show? Would any show get you to subscribe? Let us know!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • 0 interest in this one.
  • I wouldn't subscribe for Dr. dre *** and violence, but I certainly might for something in a different market. Right now, the music alone is not compelling enough for me to subscribe, but additional content might be. Go for it, Apple - I'm anxiously waiting.
  • Really fascinating that Rene Richie can use the word *** and I can't. Just sayin'
  • Same here.
  • I'm already an Apple Music subscriber so I'll give it a shot. I've never been a fan of Dr Dre's acting but it's been years since he's done anything to my knowledge so I'd be interested in what his new show will offer. I just hope it's not in the same vein as "Empire". Seems like they'd be able to do something more gritty. But we also don't need another Power (That show is great on it's own).
  • Same here as an Apple Music subscriber I'll give it a chance, Dr Dre was part of my childhood. Sent from the iMore App
  • No need to spend millions in questionable content. Add Chromecast support and you got my money! :) I really like Apple Music's suggestion engine (superior to everything I've experienced) and its catalog is better than what Im currently subscribed to (Google All Access), not by far, but it's always that one song you can find here and cannot find there (for instance the 'Terriers' tv show theme song by Robert Duncan) that ultimately make the difference. But no Chromecast, no honey :o
  • No interest at all in Dr Dre. Not surprised it's all about pushing Music. I don't Subscribe to it. What a waste!
  • I'm overwrought with indifference.
  • Although I'm a fan of Dr. Dre, I have no interest in subscribing. Sent from the iMore App