Apple will produce billions of dollars worth of video content over the next several years to try and take down streaming giant Netflix, and sensitive R&B star Drake will lead the charge.
The Canadian artist is well-known for his music but the actually got his big break on iconic teen show Degrassi: The Next Generation as Jimmy Brooks in 2001. Speaking to Hollywood Reporter, Drake revealed plans to take time off from music to work exclusively on TV and film.
Apple have supposedly offered Drake a "blank cheque" (according to Drake) to let him produce whatever content he wants for the Apple Music platform. His work would still focus on TV and film, with Apple looking to boost original content on the streaming service.
Apple Music vice president Robert Kondrk said Drake was one of the companies "most valuable partners". "Drake almost single-handedly helped us become culturally relevant from the day we launched," Kondrk said. "If I had a company today, I would give it to Drake and Future [Drake's manager Adel Nur, not to be confused with the rapper Future] to run in a minute. They're incredibly talented guys. Very, very gifted."
Drake's 2016 album Views was Apple Music's first major exclusive and was the first music on the platform to surpass one billion plays. Apple is spending $1.2bn in 2018 to produce original content for its streaming service. Netflix will spend $7.5 billion in 2017.
Drake is no stranger to the spotlight outside of music. In 2014 he hosted ESPN's sports awards The ESPYs and starred in a skit with Los Angeles Clippers basketball player Blake Griffin:
Apple Music has two video series already, Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps.
In October, Apple announced a deal with acclaimed director Steven Spielberg to produce ten new episodes of his show Amazing Stories. Airing in 1985, Amazing Stories won five Emmy awards for its science-fiction/horror episodes. The content will not come cheap as Apple plans to pay out $50m for the show.
His films include box-office blockbusters such as Jaws, ET, Jurassic Park, the Indiana Jones franchise and critically acclaimed pictures such as Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln and Schindler's List, for which he won the Academy Award for best director.