Apple launched two new commercials on Sunday for the company's music streaming service at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. The spots, promoting Apple Music, feature The Weeknd and John Travolta on their way to an after party, highlighting the Beats 1 radio service and on-the-go playlist creation.
The commercials make a welcome break from some of the bad publicity surrounding Apple Music, as users complain of muddled libraries, industry figures question how many users will stay on after the free trial, and a key Apple executive has left the company.
The Weeknd, a Canadian singer, producer and songwriter, has previously collaborated with Apple. At the annual Worldwide Developers' Conference in June this year, The Weeknd debuted "Can't Feel My Face." The single was released on the same day as the performance. On Friday, The Weeknd released his second studio album, "Beauty Behind the Madness," which includes the single.
The positive press coverage will be welcomed by Apple, after news broke on Friday that Apple Music executive Ian Rogers has left just two months after joining Cupertino. The Financial Times reported that the move was unexpected, catching music industry executives off guard.
The service comes with a three-month free trial, an unusually long offer, meaning that there are currently no paying customers as Apple Music launched just two months ago. It boasts 11 million subscribers, but the company needs to persuade those users to renew at $9.99 per month if it has any hope of making a dent in Spotify's 20 million-strong subscriber base.
Apple Music has confused users from initial launch, as the service changed album art covers stored locally on iOS devices without asking. Both average users and tech experts have been frustrated by the experience.