Beats Music executives are in talks with some of the biggest bands and artists in the hope of securing iTunes-exclusive albums, sources claim. The team, which is now a part of Apple, hopes to replicate the success Beyoncé had with her album “Beyoncé by Beyoncé,” which was released exclusively through iTunes back in December 2013.
“Beats already has a bunch of connections with artists including Nicki Minaj, who frequently stars with Beats products in her music videos,” New York Post reports. “Iovine is also good friends with Will.i.am, Pharrell, Kanye West and Gwen Stefani.”
Many of these artists have new albums in the works, but it’s unclear at this point who exactly Beats is lining up for the exclusive deals — which are said to be frowned upon by record label executives.
Apple has been quiet about its plans for Beats since its $3 billion acquisition, but rumors have hinted at a big makeover of the Beats Music streaming service, which could be integrated into iTunes. According to analysts, the service currently has around 300,000 subscribers, but it’s still only available in the U.S.
As part of its acquisition, Apple also took over Beats Electronics — which is responsible for the hugely popular Beats headphones and speakers — and it has made company founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine permanent members of its executive team.
It’s thought the relationships and connections the pair have with the music industry and other artists played a big part in Apple’s interest, and the Cupertino company is expected to rely on this to take Beats and iTunes forward amid declining music sales.