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

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

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

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.