Rumor Fact(ory): Does Apple have grander visions for video?

The big gossip swirling around this Monday morning centers once again on Apple Music. This time, the speculation is about the bigger role video may play in this streaming service.

The topic emerged with two high-profile video releases from Apple. One was an advertisement for the streaming platform featuring country artist Kenny Chesney. The other was a music video for rapper Drake’s new single “Hotline Bling.” The clips first aired on Apple Music and had a new option to embed the code directly from Apple’s hosting. The Chesney ad, unlike many of the service’s other promos, was never added to YouTube. Embedding is only available on a handful of videos at this point, but the speculation is that other artists using the Connect elements of Apple Music will eventually have access.

9to5Mac suggested that a top motivation for Apple in this embed feature could be keeping listeners within its own ecosystem, both for a better user experience and to avoid giving more business to rival Google. It’s also a way to promote the Connect artist profiles, which have not gained too much traction among performers. The bigger hypothesis is that this early foray into embedded videos is a hint of a much larger potential strategy for Apple. Could the tech company might be looking to develop its own video network that would be a serious competitor to YouTube, the long-standing big cheese?

It’s much too early to make any definite predictions about where Apple might go with video. The reaction to Apple Music has been decidedly mixed, and the company also just launched it’s new Apple TV, so it has a lot of fresh projects that will take up resources and development efforts. But it isn’t out of the question that both projects could be first steps toward creating a bigger entertainment network bearing the Apple logo.

Anna Washenko