Drake fan? Then you can only hear his upcoming album, Views From the 6, if you’re also an Apple Music subscriber.
Streaming exclusives remain a sucky reality for music fans, especially those that get punished for actually paying but can’t get access to the best new content because they’re on the wrong service. And so it is with Drake: the rapper’s new album will be released first as an Apple Music exclusive, then generally available as of April 29th.
The news was verified by Apple on Beats 1’s OVO Sound Radio.
Since the launch of Apple Music last year, Drake has always been a keen advocate of the streaming platform. The Canadian rapper was present at Apple Music’s launch in San Francisco last year, and his hit song Hotline Bling was first released on Apple Music before any other streaming service.
Also, Drake’s OVO Sound radio show is an Apple Music exclusive, and currently only available on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station. Then, there’s this: last month, DVSN — a Canadian R&B duo signed to Drake’s OVO Sound label — released their album exclusively on Apple Music. Indeed, it’s obvious that Drake has a strong relationship with the streaming platform, with some serious financial payouts possible.
But what effect is this going to have on the other streaming services in the market?
Exclusive content is a strategy that most major streaming platforms are using to increase subscriber numbers. Tidal is famous for this and have reportedly doubled their subscriber numbers as a result of exclusively streaming Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo.
Meanwhile, Apple Music has already grown considerably since its launch last year. In just nine months, it has racked up 11 million paying subscribers. With this new Drake exclusive, Apple Music is widely anticipated to grab another big chunk of paying users. Apple Music is the closest streaming service to Spotify in terms of subscriber numbers.
Although Spotify has a recorded 30 million paying users, and Apple Music only has roughly 30% of this figure, Spotify is indeed moving to widen that gap. In fact, this may one reason why Spotify has just recently raised a massive $1 billion in debt financing.
(Image by thecomeupshow; licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)