Only on Apple Music: Exclusivity defines Apple’s music streaming service

“This past weekend, Apple Music gained further ground in the ongoing war for streaming music supremacy, debuting two different albums of new work from popular R&B artist Frank Ocean,” Gary Suarez writes for Forbes. “The first of these, a self-described visual album entitled Endless, dropped late Thursday and was swiftly followed on Saturday by the audio-only Blonde. Apart from a handful of pop-up stores where Blonde could be acquired alongside a one-off print magazine, the only legitimate way to consume these records was through Apple.”

“This marks but the latest in a string of notable releases to premiere first and foremost via the service,” Suarez writes. “Other 2016 projects to follow this model include Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book and Drake’s multi-platinum Views. Not unlike these two successful Apple Music exclusives, Ocean’s Blonde seems certain to make a major first week impression on the Billboard 200 album charts.”

“A function of the company’s broader remit, Apple currently possesses [another] notable competitive advantage over other paid streaming services,” Suarez writes. “As a provider of consumer tech products, the integration of its streaming music service with iTunes, the iPhone and Apple TV makes for a convenient and consistent music experience. Spotify and Tidal lack that infrastructural support, depending entirely on third-parties including Apple to be functional and successful.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Game over. It’s only a matter of time before Apple Music assumes its rightful crown as the world’s No. 1 music streaming service.


  1. “Rightful crown”?

    The fandom is endless for some people.

    What this REALLY will do is end the free version of Spotify, reduce competition and increase prices.

    In other words, Apple-ized.

    1. Reduce competition? Free teirs are destroying content discovery and curation. Spotify’s free version has got to go. As should Pandora’s. They are hurting the industry, not helping.

      That being said, I don’t think the masses of Spotify users care about having to wait a week or two for the album. This small exclusivity window seems silly. Now if it fans had to wait a month or even longer for content then maybe they’d widen up and switch to Apple Music.

      But one week exclusivities would never influence my purchasing power and I can’t imagine it’s affecting anyone else.

      All the people that wanted to hear Chance, Drake and Ocean are just doing it the way they’ve always done, illegally. They’re not just going to jump on Apple’s bandwagon because these acts are exclusive for a maximum of five minutes

  2. “It’s only a matter of time before Apple Music assumes its rightful crown as the world’s No. 1 music streaming service.”

    I wish they’d fix it first though. Try even logging in to the non-beta anymore Android version of Rightful Crown. Four crashes before I got to my account. Losing downloaded files without internet connection (on iPhone). No gapless playback. Replacing songs (including live recordings) with other versions because why not. There’s a lot I like about Apple but really it needs a whole new level of fanboyism to call it “No. 1 music streaming service”. In terms of content, possibly. In terms of quality, it’s worse than anything else I tried, and I tried about eight because I’m very obsessed… I mean serious about my music.

  3. Exclusive Rap? And what instrument does a rapper play? (They don’t)

    Does Chance the Rapper wipe down cars at the car wash between gigs?

    What about real music?

    The Apple Rap Store and content rental are probably a good fit because real music is worth purchasing and rap is most defintely NOT music. Besides, the rap audience is already used to renting their furniture.

  4. Exclusive titles are as spectacular as exclusive interviews on television.

    But if Beethoven were alive today and had a 10th Symphony only available through Apple Music, I might just consider subscribing.

    1. When he died Beethoven left sketches for the 9th & 10th symphonies he’d been commissioned to write. Active composers of symphonies who happened to die sometimes left one “unfinished.” (!) And sometimes they were completed by others, then performed and recorded despite the grumbling of purists. Based on the sketches, Beethoven’s “10th” can be heard on YouTube, yet I can’t seem find any of it in Apple Music or iTunes. I can find versions of Mahler’s “unfinished” 10th symphony there; but I’d have supposed that Apple’s catalogues were less spotty than this. Is it because Mahler’s was 95% finished but Beethoven’s only 15%, thus not meriting the label?

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