Apple Music is ruining Spotify’s negotiations with record labels

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Spotify
Exclusives aren't slowing down Spotify.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Negotiations between music streaming service Spotify and all three major record labels have hit a snag lately and Apple Music is a big reason why.

Spotify’s licensing agreements with Sony, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group have reportedly been on a rolling month-by-month basis for much of 2016, yet the companies haven’t been able to hammer out long-term deals yet because Spotify isn’t willing to share as much revenue as Apple Music.

Apple is producing an exclusive documentary about Cash Money Records

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Apple is all about that Cash Money.
Photo: Instagram

In its quest for more exclusive music content, Apple Music has signed an agreement with Cash Money Records: the record label which brought fan Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Young Money and Birdman.

According to the deal, which was described as a “power move” by co-founder Birdman on his Instagram, Apple will produce a documentary about the label — set to air exclusively on Apple Music.

Apple is hiring a team of lyrics curators for Apple Music

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iOS 10 brings lyrics to Apple Music.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The new lyrics feature in Apple Music might not be powered by a third-party company, according to a new job posting found on Apple’s website.

It appears that Apple instead plans to do most of the work compiling lyrics all on its own by hiring “a team of lyrics curators with excellent writing skills, music knowledge, and attention to detail.”

How to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify or Pandora

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The Amazon Echo lights up when it recognizes you are making a request.
It's easier than ever to get the Amazon Echo to play tracks from Spotify Premium.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Barking out a song request at my Amazon Echo smart speaker, then hearing the track magically start playing, makes me feel like I’m living in the future.

Unfortunately, that feeling evaporates when the song isn’t part of the relatively skimpy Amazon Prime Music catalog. If it’s not there, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa queues up an annoying 30-second sample — and that makes me realize I’m living in the very buggy present.

Luckily, you can fix that. Here’s how to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify so you don’t get stuck with those annoying song and album previews.

Why Apple should buy Tidal (and why it shouldn’t) [Friday Night Fights]

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fnf
Tidal could be Apple Music's biggest rival later.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

When you have the kind of cash Apple has, the easiest way to take down the competition is to just buy it. That’s exactly what the Cupertino company is planning to do with Apple Music rival Tidal, according to a recent report.

FNF-bugBut would a Tidal takeover be a good move? Would Apple be using its money solely to wipe out a rival, or will Tidal’s talent and connections to the music industry be great for Apple Music?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over the latest Apple acquisition rumor!

Apple might buy struggling competitor Tidal

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apple music app
A Tidal acquisition would give Apple Music even more artist exclusives.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Jay Z and Apple might be joining forces.

Apple has dominated the jigga man’s streaming service, Tidal, ever since the launch of Apple Music one year ago, but a new report claims that the iPhone-maker is in exploratory talks to acquire the music streaming service.