Apple is teaming up with British fashion retailer Burberry to bring the first branded channel to its new music streaming service. Burberry's channel will live within Apple Music's new "Curators" section and feature live performance videos from both established and up-and-coming British artists. The channel will act in some ways as an extension of Burberry's existing Burberry Acoustic series, which started in 2010 as a way to for the company to fashion itself as a lifestyle brand by tapping into the independent British music scene. Burberry's Apple Music channel will start with exclusive videos, including a slate of live performances from British artists to be filmed at the Burberry Womenswear show in London on September 21st.
The partnership is notable for being the first time Apple has worked with Burberry since hiring away the retailer's chief executive Angela Ahrendts in 2013 to be Apple's senior vice president of retail and online stores. Since hiring Ahrendts, there has been speculation that Apple would work with Burberry. The rumors only intensified when Apple made clear its fashion focus with the Apple Watch, which was sold at select high-end luxury retailers at launch and featured in magazines like Vogue. It's unclear whether Ahrendts had anything to do with Apple Music's Burberry channel.
The first Burberry partnership since Apple hired Angela Ahrendts
Apple's streaming service, the brainchild in part of music industry heavyweights Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, is about to enter its next stage. The free three-month trial period extended to all iPhone owners in June comes to a close this month and Apple will have a clearer idea of who agrees to pay $9.99 for a single subscription or $14.99 for a family plan. Apple says it has more than 11 million registered users of the service, while established rival Spotify last counted 20 million paid users of its music service and 75 million total users.
The Burberry partnership is yet another way Apple has tried to differentiate its service from that of Spotify and other competitors. Apple's past efforts include Connect, a kind of in-app social network that lets musicians post songs and personal updates directly fans, and Beats 1, a non-stop international radio station featuring top DJs from around the globe and special sets from artists like Drake and Pharrell.
Whether on-the-fence streaming fans find value in high-end fashion marketing living inside their music library is unclear, but Apple may extend the channel feature to any number of big-name companies.