From a musical perspective, this is a little down in the weeds, but it’s relevant to how Apple and other streaming services are using exclusives to promote and differentiate their services, so it’s worth understanding at least some of those details. Chance the Rapper is a popular musician who famously has eschewed both a deal with a label and, for the most part, charging for his music, making much of it available through free streaming services like SoundCloud. However, he did have a brief exclusive with Apple Music a while back, which has led to some criticisms that he’s not truly an independent artist (neither the musician nor the articles covering this story today seem to be specific about that, but here’s a recent example). In his defense, Chance detailed his relationship with Apple today in a series of tweets in which he said that Apple had indeed paid him half a million dollars, which he says he needed at the time, for a two week exclusive on Apple Music before he released his album on SoundCloud. That’s a much smaller amount than Apple was reported to have paid fellow musician Drake, but highlights that Apple has been spending a decent amount on exclusives, though it’s possible that we’ll see less of this and more emphasis on its original content going forward. Meanwhile, it appears Drake’s next project (technically a mixtape and not an album) will be the first in quite a while not to be an Apple Music exclusive.
via New York Times