Apple Music is rolling out a ‘Stream Local’ section in India and South Africa amid coronavirus lockdowns.
Both India and South Africa find themselves under strict lockdown to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The live music industry in these countries is experiencing a huge impact, too. Accordingly, Apple’s new ‘Stream Local’ initiative is an effort to highlight local hits for more airtime.
In South Africa and India, the Apple Music Stream Local initiative kicks off on April 11th. Artists like Elaine, Blaq Diamond, Kabza de Small, and Ami Faku will be featured across various playlists. Select playlists for the feature include Mzansi House, Amapiano Lifestyle, Mzansi Hits, Afrikannse Treffers, and more.
Indian local music highlighted includes the work of Raftaar, Neha Kakkar, Armaan Malik, Darshan Rawl, The Earth Below, and Sameer Rahat. Playlists to be featured on Apple Music Stream Local in India include Badshah, Nucleya, The New India, and Indian Independent Hits.
Apple also announced a donation of $10 million to the “One World: Together at Home” benefit.
The COVID-19 fundraiser is being organized by Global Citizen and the WHO, in collaboration with Lady Gaga. Artists who will appear at the benefit concert on April 18th include Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, Finneas, John Legend, Keith Urban, Paul McCartney, and Steve Wonder, among others. Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert will jointly host the event from their homes.
Beyond that, Apple is establishing an advance fund for indie artists of $50 million. Indie labels, distributors, and artists who meet Apple’s minimum quarterly revenue threshold can receive advance payments. One requirement is having a relationship with Apple Music ahead of the outbreak.
Most of the world is still under some form of lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus. Accordingly, indie artists are turning to Twitch and online live streams as a means to support themselves while shows remain nonexistent. Apple’s move to feature more local music in India and Africa may help cut into those local markets — and hopefully, grow some locked-down fanbases.