Would Apple Music really launch without some of the biggest names in music?

“In just ten days, Apple Music, the new streaming service that has the potential to completely reshape the music industry as we know it, will go public, and it doesn’t sound like everything is ready to go,” Hugh McIntyre writes for Forbes. “As of now, the service has millions of songs (the company says 30 million) and almost every artist one could want to listen to…almost.”

“Apple Music has not secured deals with some very important acts, and that means that the company may have to launch without them,” McIntyre writes. “Taylor Swift has so far denied the tech giant streaming rights [for her latest album, “1989,” her back catalog will be available on Apple Music – MDN Ed.], and because most independent labels haven’t agreed to Apple’s plan to deny all artists payment for the first three months (which will be a free trial), the company doesn’t have a deal in place with thousands of other acts, including the all-important Adele (who is signed to XL Records, an independent label based in the UK).”

“Now, these are only two artists, but they are BIG names to be missing from any music-related venture, especially from one that’s looking to completely change an industry (as these two singers have),” McIntyre writes. “The platform will also be missing a little band known as The Beatles, which a few people kind of like.”

“Unless a deal is reached in the next week and a half, Apple may actually be forced to move forward without many of the most beloved acts on the planet,” McIntyre writes. “Combined with the slew of negative publicity that has so far surrounded the new entrant to the streaming industry, this launch doesn’t seem to be going too well, does it?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Because iTunes Store failed so miserably without Led Zeppelin for four years, The Beatles for seven, AC/DC for nine years, and Garth Brooks to date.


Taylor Swift withholds ‘1989’ album from Apple Music – June 19, 2015
Apple Music hitting its goal of 100 million users would change the music industry forever – June 19, 2015
Does Apple Music’s June 30th launch mark the beginning of the end for Spotify? – June 12, 2015
Apple Music’s secret weapon that almost no one’s talking about – June 11, 2015
Spotify founder: Uh ok, we don’t need to be number one in music streaming – June 11, 2015
Why Apple Music will gut and publicly execute Spotify – June 10, 2015
Spotify CEO claims to be ‘ok’ with Apple Music – June 9, 2015
Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue: Apple Music gunning for Spotify, YouTube, and terrestrial radio – June 9, 2015
Apple Music’s huge advantage over Spotify – June 9, 2015
Apple unveils revolutionary Apple Music service – June 8, 2015
Apple’s ambitious goal: Sign up 100 million Apple Music subscribers – June 7, 2015


    1. Better question: “Who is Taylor Swift?”

      In an industry that disregards yesterday’s ‘Stars” faster than people change underwear, who cares if she’s a holdout?

      1. She’s one artist, and nobody gives a shit. If they aren’t available on the customer’s choice source for music, they won’t be listening to them. Making yourself unreachable to your audience is not the best approach.

      1. I made it to the 56 second mark, but that’s further than I could have watched a Taylor Swift video.

        Thanks for the video 🙂

        As far as Taylor Swift and some of the other big artists not signing… the same thing happened when the iTunes store went on line. Plenty of artists resisted, because they wanted to sell entire albums vs. individual songs.

        Once MUSIC gets rolling they’ll all eventually get on board, or get left behind. Their choice.
        For now, saying you are not going to get on board could just be a publicity stunt.

  1. ““Combined with the slew of negative publicity that has so far surrounded the new entrant ”

    like this article?

    There seems to be a concentrated PR attack on Apple Music probably orchestrated by rivals. This is normal business practise nowadays. Experts are hired by rivals to attack and give negative spins, seeding false information to blogs and press etc (see books like “Trust me I’m Lying, Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday). Experts can even manipulate big outlets like NYT, WSJ, CNN etc. (due to cuts to investigate reporting budget almost all media including the major press rely of simply skimming ‘news’ from the internet which is filled with falsehoods seeded by media manipulators).

    Apple seriously needs to crank up it’s PR ability.

    Since Jobs passing Apple gets whacked all over without much response (this can be seen from the extremely low stock P.E less than the S&P AVERAGE. Low P.E is due to poor PERCEPTION of the company and the failure of Apple PR. ). I don’t know what apple’s PR budget is but it it’s anything lie it’s political lobbying budget (a related thing) it’s bad, because in lobbying for every buck Apple spends Google spends TEN (guess who is being bashed by politicians via DOJ etc ?)

    Apple Music is been tarnished and raked over without so much as a whimper form Apple before it even launches.
    With Jobs (PR & Marketing genius ) gone they need serious PR hires.

      1. I agree that under Jobs Apple was under attack frequently. But in the last few years of his reign (when TC was occasionally standing CEO ) until today the media landscape has become more intense in media manipulation. I cited some examples of how investigative reporting has deteriorated and how media manipulation is now an art form with highly paid practitioners.

        Note that huge companies like Samsung (in phone and electronics field) has indulged in such practices as posting fake reviews, bribing bloggers, hiring astro – turfers , and they have been fined large amounts of money several times in Asia.

        How Jobs would react today is hard to judge but my memory of him as PR guy was more proactive and aggressive than you remember.

        He did a lot of background work, Apple’s marketing people (which is related to PR) had said that next to Ive’s lab, Jobs spent most of his time there. He was constantly working the press, reporters would get personal phone calls from him correcting stories (Jobs phoned NYT reporter Nocera and called him a ‘slime bucket who got most of his facts wrong’ ) on the other hand other reporters like Mossberg was a personal friend who was invited to Jobs house etc.

        Jobs ability to warp things to his way of thinking and project was called his ‘reality distortion field’ and reporters too were drawn into it.

        Brent Schlender of WSJ on “Steve Jobs and Me: A Journalist Remembers” :” Jobs cultivated our relationship because he wanted to stay in the public eye in order to promote Next and Pixar and to rebuild his credibility as a business and technology savant. ”

        Jobs also reacted to falsehoods:
        Before the iPad came out, a ‘battery expert’ who claimed years of experience in the battery field stated that Apple’s claim of 10 hr battery was ‘impossible’ got an immediate personal email response from Jobs, a terse one liner “yes we are getting 10 hrs “. This put out the already starting sparks in the blogsphere about Apple ‘lying about iPad specs’.

        This resulted in a sort of retraction from the expert who blogged “Now, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, saying something at a press conference is one thing. But Steve Jobs, the person, communicating with me directly and saying that he has witnessed the battery life claim himself raises the credibility level a lot”.

        (whether TC does similar things I don’t know but i still think Apple needs to work on its PR more)

        Jobs ‘aggression’ (for want of a better word) can be seen in his response to Michael’s Dells statement that Apple should shut down and return the money to the shareholders, Jobs had his face painted on a target and shown at a presentation.

        perhaps something like that target thing is no longer appropriate as Apple is so large now and can’t look too aggressive but I still think Apple needs to sharpen it’s PR.

        It’s better today but for a few years right after Jobs death it was really bad, the NYT B.S to win the Pulitzer didn’t even get a letter to the editor from Apple to point out obvious mistakes (the result is that up to today many people STILL believe Apple is abusing children in China). the situation was so bad that prompted Schiller to blurt out “can’t innovate my Ass” at the launch of the Mac Pro (Apple was being painted as no innovation, out innovated by Samsung in hundreds of articles at that time with hardly any response from Apple. I don’t know what Apple’s internal politics and position about PR at that time but it seems Schiller was frustrated).

        BTW Apple dropped both the head of PR and the chief of USA marketing in the same week in 2014.

        I worked when I was younger in the Advertising and PR business.

        1. couple of more things came to my mind:

          Apple product launches and presentations are run by the PR dept. Personally I believe they currently show some weaknesses as can be seen from some examples : TC and Bono U2 on stage for the free album launch, WWDC Apple Music segment, Apple Watch segment with the fashion model etc (go watch them if you don’t know what I’m talking about) . Jobs worked tightly with the PR people for launches and although in the early days the budget was probably tighter and thus less glitz, the affairs were tighter run. To me it can be seen how interested Jobs was in PR.

          2) When I mentioned that Jobs was a marketing and PR genius another example that encompassed his thinking was the development of the Apple Store. Apple Stores were designed to project Apple image, today we forget as other electronics stores have copied them a lot but before them electronic stores looked like warehouses.
          Jobs spent huge amounts of money on effort on them and this was a PR and marketing exercise. For example I read a long article on the construction of the glass staircase. Some of them cost over a million dollars and were endlessly tested for earthquake resistance etc, the reason Jobs went to so much trouble was image and the engineer/architects involved said he wanted something that would ‘lead customers to other levels of the shop’. Apparently other retailers second floors etc were deserted as shoppers didn’t wander there and jobs wanted something to entice them to climb. Besides the glass being a demonstration of engineering (image) it was also a marketing device.
          You can see from this example how Jobs was ALWAYS thinking about marketing and PR.

          PR isn’t just a ‘press release’ but it compasses multiple levels and should be engaged in constantly (like building rapport with the press and developing ‘image’ etc).

          1. those people voting me down and voting up the posts against me..

            now with apple caving in with Cue’s “I woke up feeling guilty” post and the internet rife with articles in the vein of “Greedy apple admits wrong policy and being taught a lesson by young hero Swift” does anybody still want to argue Apple doesn’t need better PR and Marketing planning and response? this on the heels of WWDC Apple Music ‘presentation’ and the Bono ‘free album into you device’ idea…

    1. Three months from now, ALL of those artists will be on Apple Music.. Every single one.

      In the meantime, many unknown artists will be discovered in a random stream, people will join in order to continue to hear them, thus making some money they wouldn’t have made otherwise. Thanks, large acts, for allowing listeners unfettered access to overlooked acts!

  2. Insofar as I know Apple music will have all the greats, Beethoven, Mozart, Bizet, Berlioz, Wagner, Schubert, Chopin, Vivaldi. I don’t think Taylor Swift has written any symphonies worthy of attention to my knowledge.

    The big bonus of Apple Music in my opinion will be the lack of the BIG whiners, like Hugh McIntyre. Not having to put up with that drivel is sure to bring huge success to Apple Music without having to use all capital letters.

    Still I won’t be interested, not even with a 30 day trial. I like to own my music thank you very much.

    1. ” I don’t think Taylor Swift has written any symphonies worthy of attention to my knowledge.”

      Well, to be fair, neither did Chopin. Or the Beatles.
      But since you omitted the Russians, I’ll throw in my favorite three to choose from; Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff.

      Now, keeping in mind that Apple is a business, and sales keep it in one, it is also noticeable then that Taylor Swift is in both the Top 10 singles AND Top 10 albums on iTunes.

      And lastly, no, I don’t own any Taylor Swift, but I do admire her (just not near as much as this girl)-


      1. True Chopin did not write any symphonies, but he did compose some great stuff and was a child prodigy. Thanks for complementing my list with some great Russian composers no slight was intended and certainly not an exhaustive list.

        You mention that Apple is a business, more than just music of course but in respect to music what is hot one day/year is not necessarily enduring.

        To the point, I went to a web site of the top 50 bands of the sixties (Beatles were hot then) and from that list, there are still a few that are enduring (Dylan, Kinks, Pink Floyd, the Who, Leonard Cohen), some that are dead but enduring (Hendrix, Roy Orbison, the Doors, Frank Zappa). The Rolling Stones is not on that list and then again, neither is Los del Rio.

        There are others on the list that well, can’t say I’ve heard them on the (mainstream) radio recently, Captain Beefheart, Ennio Morricone, Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

        In fact mainstream radio on the air waves had a particular format. I don’t recall hearing anything like the fantastic Supper’s Ready by Genesis, or the full length version of Indaggaddavida by Iron Butterfly because the songs were too long for commercial. That along with the one hit wonders band did a lot for moulding mainstream music.

        If it is from a business point of view, well there is commercial business to make a buck, short songs high turn around Lady Gaga style. For bands which I consider having more depth (like Sigur Rós or Röyksopp breaking into the commercial market (radio) is not going to be a viable option but fortunately there are other outlets there, and streaming music coupled with the net will help.

        The point is that there are musicians that go for the commercial glitz, others for the passion of music. If Apple Music has both, which I think it will, then the discovery of good music will help. Just as a business, well it’s going to be candy coated Lady Gaga and Kate Perry. Hot today, cold tomorrow.

        All nice to mention but at the end of the day I like to own my music and there is one great fear I have of radio or streaming music and that’s having to listen to “who let the dogs out” one more time.

        1. Whatever 60’s top bands list had Leonard Cohen on it and not The Rolling Stones is completely bogus. Satisfaction is probably the number one rock and roll song of all time, and The Rolling Stones is the number one rock band of all time. I was a teenager in the sixties and I never heard of Leonard Cohen (who I enjoy) until much later.

          1. I went back and rechecked the list (from rateyourmusic.com) and the Rolling Stones is on the list. I missed it. That’s what surprised me. You are right, though missing the Rolling Stones would make a list kinda bogus.

  3. Think about it – Spotify gave too much away to consumers and left little for the artist. Tidal was the opposite that tried to pay artists too much and only few consumers felt it was worth it.

    Apple Music is attempting to strike a good balance between paying the artists and asking consumers for a fair price.

    The same thing happened with downloads and movies – it just takes time for everyone on both sides to see how things play out.

  4. I can’t stand all this pre-launch AppleMusic whining. What’s the point of it? These people can’t speak for all the tens of millions of people who will be trying the service. So, Apple is going to charge $9.99 a month for a subscription. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head. Consumers will trial AppleMusic for a decent three months and make their decision as to whether or not it’s worth it. Thirty million+ songs and this dude is concerned because a few popular artists aren’t going to be on it (at the start). Does he know how long it takes to listen to even 30,000 songs, say at an average of three hours a day. Believe me, it’s a long time. Some people are always looking for perfection and it’s not going to be found. Nothing is perfect for everyone. I certainly don’t care about whether Taylor Swift’s latest album is available and I’m sure there are many others like me. I’m only expecting a good overall service with more good stuff than bad stuff and I think that’s what most consumers will be expecting. It will be a good chance for people to find someone they like to hear even more than Taylor Swift.

    I’ll admit it’s not great to not have the Beatles. I’ve got probably all of their best/most popular songs so it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me. However, I don’t think Apple should hold up the whole service for something like that. Nothing is set in stone and eventually Apple could get the Beatles catalog for streaming. Besides, there’s still time before the launch so why even whine about it now.

  5. Has anything decent EVER been publish on the Forbes Bullshit Network?

    Hugh, let me fix that for you… “Now, these are only two artists, but I am going to throw an enormous pout and make a super big deal of it anyway.”

  6. I couldn’t watch the music part of the keynote. I certainly can’t invest the effort to follow this kerfuffle. I will predict that in three months, when the trial period ends and new iPhones and iPads have been announced and iOS 9 and El Capitan have been released, we will have a whole new kerfuffle for the chuckleheads in the media to rant about.

  7. The massive power of Apple’s streaming music will have everyone aboard within six months and those that stayed away will clamor to join… Many more will benefit than will not… Some will forfit any chance for a breakout hit… But to each his own

  8. I think Taylor and the rest of the hold-outs will be on board in three months. Without a change in Apple policy. She will wait till the rush of early free trials turns into paying customers. At that point, the free trial won’t be that big of a deal. So, way to be a team player,Taylor. The wealthiest entertainer piggybacking on the pragmatism of the artists who signed on at launch.

  9. I don’t think this is Taylor or any artist speaking. I think it is the record companies that scoop up the lions share of the money, telling the artists what a RAW deal they are getting.

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