The multi-billion-dollar arms race between video streaming services has treated People Who Like Music well this year. Netflix gave us Beyoncé’s Coachella epic and Martin Scorsese’s genre-bending Rolling Thunder Revue, Aretha Franklin’s gorgeous Amazing Grace concert film found a home on Amazon Prime, and multiple corporations let us relive Fyre Festival. Last night brought news of the latest coup: Billie Eilish has sold a documentary to Apple TV+ about her breakout year.
Apple paid $25 million for the rights to distribute Eilish’s film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The magazine describes the deal as a “massive payday.” Just how big is it, relatively speaking? The mere existence of a number is interesting. It was not reported how much Netflix paid for Travis Scott’s Look Mom I Can Fly, Taylor Swift’s Reputation concert film, or Swift’s forthcoming Miss Americana documentary. We don’t know the size of either Fyre Fest documentary deal, either.
But based on the few comparable deals that have been reported, it’s clear that this one is pretty massive. Beyoncé received $20 million for Homecoming, per Variety, and Wall Street Journal reports that Netflix ponied up “more than $20 million” for Scorsese’s Bob Dylan doc.
Apple declined to comment to THR about Eilish, but it’s easy enough to guess why the contract might have leaked. Both parties are incentivized to promote the number. Apple, a late entry to film streaming, wants to demonstrate its purchasing power; Eilish, a still-rising star, wants to flex her market value.
The film is expected in 2020 but does not have a release date.