Apple Music Exclusive are Heading Towards a Dead End

Apple Music Exclusive are Heading Towards a Dead End

Apple and their exclusive features have always been the one reason why millions of users refuse to join the Apple cult. While it seems like a wise business choice for the company, users may see it like monopoly, and amid cut-throat competition, exclusive features may soon come to a dead end.

Apple Music is one of the biggest examples of an Apple offering loaded with unique features. One such unique feature is the Exclusives. However, with their recent collaboration with Chance the Rapper creating a controversy, many believe that the company may want to amend the workings of Apple Music Exclusive.

Apple Music in India started in 2015 with a subscription rate of INR 120 for a month. But now the big question is – how long will it take for Apple music to gain approval of the music industry and music fans together or is it going to perish?

While exclusives have long been a tactic of streaming services to gain a temporary advantage over their competition, Apple is likely to limit their releases. Apple Music head Jimmy Lovine, in an interview with Music Business Worldwide, explains that while Apple did use the exclusives advantage in the past, they are planning to move away from it.

“We’ll still do some stuff with the occasional artist,” Lovine said. “The labels don’t seem to like it, and ultimately it’s their content.”

Well, it’s no new revelation that record labels aren’t too happy with exclusives. It might be a marketing win for the streaming service, but it results in lost revenue for labels.

Wall Street Journal noted that labels weren’t thrilled with the new release model of Apple Music. Business Insider also pointed out that Kanye West was also vocally against exclusives. Last year he tweeted that the streaming wars were “fucking up the music game.”

Initially, musicians who signed exclusives with Apple Music were offered big marketing thrust, but it’s hard to quantify its effectiveness at drawing listeners, especially since Apple has a smaller subscriber base than Spotify. In 2016, Drake’s Views was one of Apple Music exclusive’s biggest successes with several records broken. However, Drake has consistently been a top-played artist on Spotify as well at the same time.

Lately, there was news surrounding Apple Music were focused on exclusive video, and this is how Lovine explained the situation: “We’re doing exclusive video content now, and putting a lot of money into that,” he noted. It certainly is an understatement just to say a lot of money.

Apple Music Exclusive are Heading Towards a Dead End

There are details about some upcoming music-focused series, like Carpool Karaoke, a Cash Money Records documentary and several others.

In March Chance the Rapper revealed that Apple Music paid him $500,000 (a half a million dollars) for a two week exclusive deal on his Grammy-winning ‘Coloring Book’ Album. Once the news of this major deal was out not many fans were happy, and this is what Chance the Rapper had to say about the controversy:

“I never felt the need to correct folks on my relationship with [Apple] but now that more people have tried to discredit my independence,” Chance the Rapper tweeted.  “I wanna clear things up. “[Apple] gave me half a mil and a commercial to post Coloring Book exclusively on Apple Music for two weeks.”

“I feel like if I didn’t clear it up, people would keep trying to discredit all the work we did to make Coloring Book what it became.”

Apple hasn’t responded to this, but you can’t blame Chance the Rapper who is an independent artist and wanted to grab the opportunity at hand.

Thus the decision that Apple Music is cutting back on one of its defining characteristics: album exclusives.

In an interview with Music Business Worldwide, Jimmy Lovine said that “the streaming service plans to be less aggressive about obtaining exclusives in the future.”

Similarly, in late April, at an interview with Bloomberg, Lovine discussed upcoming changes that will be made to Apple Music to put more focus on the growing library of video content. Also at the same interview, he mentioned that by the end of 2017 the company plans to debut ten different series on the service. So we can expect to hear about a redesigned version of the streaming apps alongside the latest features for iOS.

It would be right to conclude that while Apple Music isn’t entirely done with exclusives, we should expect a significant change in the streaming music industry in the coming years.


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