Apple Music is officially expanding into Nashville with a new lease on an old sock factory just south of downtown.
Apple has just signed a lease for the May Hosiery factory in Wedgewood-Houston, a former industrial area under ongoing renovation. Apple’s contract covers the entire two-story building located at 431 Chestnut St.
The building is around 25,000 square feet, and AJ Capital Partners will oversee the renovation. The Chicago-based developer is also renovating buildings on West End Avenue.
Nashville labels have reportedly questioned why Apple Music didn’t have a major presence in the city. The lack of Nashville offices was interpreted as a slight to country music fans, especially given the genre’s importance on streaming platforms.
Those memos are being received, however. And not just by Apple. Back in April, Apple veteran Jay Liepis moved to Nashville to serve as the head of this new office. But Both Spotify and Amazon Music have Nashville offices, so Apple is playing catch-up here.
Apple says its country music streams grew 66% last year.
The Pure Country radio channel has also become the second-most popular radio channel on Apple Music with a 35% year-over-year increase. The A-List Country playlist also saw 151% year-over-year gain and is now ranked third on Apple Music.
Country music fans appear to be flocking to Apple Music, so the new office in Nashville makes sense. But Apple is hoping to court more than just country music talent.
Reports suggest Apple is hoping to build a relationship with rock, pop, and hip-hop artists who operate out of Nashville, too.
Christian and gospel are also rising genres associated with Nashville that could find their way to more exposure through Apple Music.
A report from 2017 says country accounted for 6% of on-demand streams. That’s compared to 22% for hip-hop and 19.3% for rock, two genres that don’t have the same radio dominance that country enjoys.