Yet another chapter has been added to the Streaming Wars Saga this week.
Following the kinda-sorta underwhelming launch of TIDAL earlier this month, Apple have switched into fifth gear on development of their own upcoming streaming service "Beats Music". And in a move they hope will rival the appeal of the "TIDAL 16", the company have reportedly approached at least a dozen artists this week about exclusivity deals in their future music releases.
According to Bloomberg, Artists that Beats Music have their eye on include Taylor Swift and Florence + The Machine, whose upcoming album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful will be released in June. Apple are apparently aiming for limited streaming rights to a track from the album in the hopes of attracting users.
Taylor, who pulled all her music off of Spotify shortly after the release of 1989, was originally rumoured to be involved with Jay-Z on the TIDAL release; and while she was absent from the press event that included 16 artists signing their allegiance to the streaming service, her entire back catalogue is available on TIDAL.
Kanye West may also have been targeted by the service, as he admitted in a recent interview with T Magazine that he "passed on what he says was a multimillion dollar partnership with Apple". As one of the TIDAL 16 and a close collaborator and friend of Jay-Z, that's not exactly hard to see why.
Meanwhile, poor old Spotify still has some artists in its corner; singer Lily Allen, who might have accidentally coined the term #TIDAL16, has been consistent in her defence of the older streaming service while slamming the privileged "more for the artist" model of TIDAL.
Spotify pay out the but the artists aren't getting the money, so where is it going I wonder ?? Spotify is not the enemy of the artist— lily (@lilyallen) April 2, 2015
@CNRush actually pirating figures have decreased dramatically since spotify, which is why everyone wants in on streaming, see Apple/Beats .— lily (@lilyallen) April 2, 2015
Apple are reportedly planning to integrate their new service with iOS, iTunes and Apple TV as soon as possible, and are even rumoured to be reconsidering the name "Beats Music".
We'll watch this space...