Apple Music drives first serious music industry growth since 1999

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Apple Music is doing good in the eyes of record labels.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Music is having a big impact on the profitability of the music industry, according to a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America.

How big? Apple Music is one of the key players driving what looks to be the recording industry’s first back-to-back yearly growth since 1998-1999.

Surge in Spotify subscribers makes it twice as big as Apple Music

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Spotify
Spotify won't be quite as spectacular for those who won't pay.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Music doesn’t appear to be slowing Spotify’s growth at all, based on the number of paid subscribers the rival streaming service has added in 2016.

During the iPhone 7 event, Apple boasted that it has 17 million paid subscribers. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek fired shots back on Twitter this morning, revealing his company has more than twice as many paid music listeners.

Frank Ocean pulls off heist of the year with Endless and Blonde

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Frank Ocean Blonde on Apple Music
Frank Ocean pulls a fast one with his Apple Music exclusives, Endless and Blonde.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

By Brandon Shaw

I know, you’re tired of hearing, “Frank Ocean’s new album is amazing!!!” Me too. I’m interested less in the album itself, and more in what it means for the future of music.

With a pair of Apple Music exclusives, Frank Ocean pulled a fast one on his old record label — and shook up the the entire record industry. It’s the latest indicator that Apple sits at the center of a rapidly evolving music industry, where rules and strategies are changing by the minute. Now everyone from Spotify to Universal Music Group is frantically trying to figure out what to do.

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

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apple music app
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.

Sore Spotify says music exclusives are bad for everyone

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Spotify
Spotify wants Apple to quit with the exclusives.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

As Apple secures exclusive after exclusive with the hottest names in music, Spotify is beginning to feel the heat. According to Troy Carter, global head of creator services at Spotify, these deals are “bad for artists, bad for consumers, and bad for the whole industry.”

Apple Music is ruining Spotify’s negotiations with record labels

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Spotify
Spotify won't be quite as spectacular for those who won't pay.
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.