Apple Music is one of the most popular music streaming services, second only to Spotify, thanks to its heavy focus on album exclusives. Unfortunately, that’s coming to an end, according to Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine.
In an interview with Music Business Worldwide, Iovine revealed Apple Music will move away from album exclusives going forward due to mounting pressure from record labels.
“We’ll still do some stuff with the occasional artist,” Iovine stated. “The labels don’t seem to like it and ultimately it’s their content.”
Exclusive albums has been a major point of contention between record labels and streaming services as the practice gained momentum last year. Apple Music nabbed two of the biggest albums in 2016 with Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Drake’s Views. But in the aftermath, Frank Ocean’s label Universal Music Group nixed the idea of future exclusives with their artists.
This isn’t the end of exclusive albums on Apple Music
This is good news for music fans, but don’t completely count out exclusives just yet.
Drake has a notoriously chummy relationship with Apple that we don’t foresee ending any time soon. Apple reportedly financed his “Hotline Bling” music video and as we mentioned, nabbed exclusive rights to Views—his latest album. And then there are scenarios like Chance the Rapper. He independently released his own album and struck an exclusive deal with Apple Music worth $500,000.
Exclusive albums will still be around in Apple Music, just slightly scaled back.