Apple Music exclusives earn artists one-way trip to Spotify hell [Update: Spotify denies]

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Spotify punishes artists for giving Apple Music exclusives.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Scoring an exclusive album deal with Apple Music can be highly lucrative for artists looking for independence, but it might come with some serious payback from Spotify, which is reportedly punishing musicians that sign such deals.

Musicians have been dragged into the fight between Apple and Spotify, according to new reports saying Apple’s rival is threatening to bury artists in its search results. Meanwhile, Spotify has denied the accusations, which come from anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg and The New York Times.

Spotify enlists Lady Gaga’s manager to fight Apple Music

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Troy Carter is bringing his talents to Spotify.
Troy Carter is bringing his talents to Spotify.
Photo: TechCrunch/Flickr

The battle between Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music for exclusive content from artists is about to get fiercer, thanks to a new hire from Spotify that has connections to some of the hottest musicians around.

Troy Carter, the guy who helped turn Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor into pop superstars, is reportedly joining Spotify to help it scores more exclusive music deals to draw in subscribers.

Drake’s Views racks up 250 million streams on Apple Music

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Drizzy has been great for Apple Music.
Drizzy has been great for Apple Music.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s big bet on Drake is paying off huge for both sides and shattering records in the process.

Drake’s new album Views is only available on Apple Music, but it’s already been streamed over 250 million times in its first week and his album sales are on pace to be the biggest release by a male artist since Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience.

Beyoncé’s sixth album, Lemonade, squeezes onto iTunes

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Queen B is back!
Photo: Parkwood Entertainment

Released on Friday as a short-lived Tidal exclusive, Beyoncé’s latest album, entitled Lemonade, is now available to download via iTunes — comprising 12 music tracks, a one-hour film produced for HBO, and a “digital booklet.”

The $17.99 Lemonade has so far received strong critical reviews, although we’ll have to wait and see whether it can come close to achieving her last album’s record-breaking sales feat, which became the fastest-selling album in iTunes history.

Kanye’s new album might be released as free iTunes exclusive

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Yeezus is ready to launch Apple's new music streaming service.
Yeezus is ready to launch Apple's new music streaming service.
Photo: Adweek

Kanye West was part of Jay Z’s small army of megastars that helped launch Tidal, but when it comes to his next album, Ye is reportedly looking to take the U2 route by releasing it on iTunes for free.

According to a new rumor on Twitter, Apple and Kanye are joining forces for the launch of the company’s new music streaming service. As a gift to the fans, Yeezy has agreed to release his new album ‘Swish’ for free after Apple paid him nearly double what he expected to make of album sales.

Almost half of Tidal’s founders could have to pull their own music

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Even Jay Z's wife may find her music vanishing from Tidal.

7 of the 15 artists with an ownership stake in Jay Z’s troubled Tidal streaming music service may have their music pulled from it as a result of Jay Z failing to reach a music licencing agreement with Sony, which owns many of the streaming rights to the musicians in question.

Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Jack White, Calvin Harris, J Cole, Usher have all released albums under one of Sony’s labels, while even Jay’s own wife Beyonce could see her music vanish from her husband’s attempt at a challenger to digital music giants like Spotify and Apple.

Beyonce shows off Apple Watch band you can’t have at Coachella

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Photo: Beyonce

The latest celebrity to flaunt an Apple Watch is none other than Queen B herself. Today Beyonce posted photos of herself at Coachella wearing the 18-karat Apple Watch Edition and a custom band you can’t buy.

One of iTunes’ most beloved artists has a solid gold link bracelet for the Watch that Apple doesn’t sell officially. And it probably costs more than the Edition itself.

The 18 most GIF-able moments of 2014

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High five for the best GIFs of 2014. Photo: Deathdragon1987/
High five for the best GIFs of 2014. Photo: Deathdragon1987/Imgur

We’re nearly a week away from ringing in the new year and all the craziness that 2015 is going to bring with it, but before we go into holiday hibernation mode, we wanted to take a look back at the most GIF-worthy events of 2014.

From Ellen’s hilarious Oscar selfie, to ‘the greatest catch ever’, 2014 was filled with incredible moments that captured the Internet’s fascination thanks to the glory of the GIFs.

Without further adieu, these were our favorite GIFs of 2014:

Amazon Throws Its Toys Out The Pram Because iTunes Got Beyoncé Album First

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She may have the fastest selling album in iTunes history, but not everyone is happy with Beyoncé’s success — and it’s not just limited to brick-and-mortar stores either.

Responding to Beyoncé’s iTunes exclusive, Amazon has joined Target in announcing that it will not stock physical copies of the Beyoncé album (although the album is available from Amazon’s online US MP3 store if a customer searches for it).