In the quest for success in the streaming music wars, Apple Music is throwing its weight and money behind artist relationships. Not only has this entailed its fair share of exclusive albums, but Apple Music execs are also throwing the company's weight behind producing music videos, concert documentaries and more. And according to a new report from Rolling Stone, this is all part of a calculated strategy involving everyone from Tim Cook to Jimmy Iovine and Apple Music's original content chief Larry Jackson.
From Rolling Stone:
With Larry Jackson signing deals from his perch at the SoHo House restaurant in Los Angeles, Apple has funded Eminem's "Phenomenal" video and built partnerships with the likes of Keith Richards, the Black Eyed Peas and Selena Gomez. He also cut the deal to produce Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour film. Swift says that she and Jackson "brainstormed together, made plans together, edited together." The relationship extended to an ad that featured Swift rapping along to the Drake-Future hit "Jumpman." ("Jumpman" sales increased 431% as a result.)
This content-focused approach has also led to timed exclusive releases with artists like Drake and Chance the Rapper in a bid to raise Apple Music's profile among not only streamers, but artists as well.
Whether Apple Music has what it takes to surpass the giant in the room, Spotify, remains to be seen. However, the service has managed to take off with a fiery start, having racked up 15 million paid subscribers compared to Spotify's 30 million. While artist exclusives haven't been much of a boon for another streaming player, Tidal, perhaps Apple's brand cachet could lend more weight to the strategy.