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


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.

Today in Apple history: Apple backs down in Taylor Swift battle


Taylor Swift Apple Music ad
These days, Taylor Swift regularly appears in Apple ads.
Photo: Apple

Wednesday22On June 22, 2015, Apple backed down following a brief standoff with Taylor Swift over royalty payments from the soon-to-launch Apple Music service. The company reversed a policy that would have denied royalties to artists during the streaming music platform’s initial three months of operation.

In doing so, Cupertino signaled that this was a kinder, gentler Apple than may have existed previously. Provided the whole thing wasn’t one big publicity stunt, that is.

Meet China’s QQ Music, a streaming app with 80 million users

QQ Music is perhaps the best streaming music app in China.
QQ Music is perhaps the best streaming music app in China.
Photo: Virginia Werner/Cult of Mac

Made_in_china_bugMainland China is Apple’s second biggest market, and will one day be its first. The company is making a big push on the mainland, opening new stores and investing in home-grown companies. Why the interest? Because China is the new Japan — it’s where the future is happening. All this week we take a look at the cutting-edge apps that define mobile life on the mainland.

SHANGHAI CITY, China — In China, 478 million people — more than the entire population of the United States — listen to music online, according to government statistics. I am one of those people, and in China I have joined the reported 80 million active users of QQ Music to stream music on my iPhone.