NY Post reports that a record-setting deal is in the works between Apple and Drake:
Apple is in talks to sign a rumored $19 million deal to get “Started From the Bottom” rapper Drake as a guest DJ for iTunes Radio, among other things. Drake is just one of a host of artists Apple wants to snag for its huge all-encompassing assault on the music front.
Pharrell Williams, who touted the Apple Watch on “The Voice” last month, and French DJ David Guetta are also in talks to get on board, several music industry sources say.
Apple has been visiting record labels to make deals, ahead of its World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco next week, but those hard-nosed negotiators from Cupertino want the moon and the stars, sources say.
Turns out that despite government inquiries, Apple loves free just as much as Spotify.
The tech giant wants to offer a three-month free trial period for its $10-a-month subscription service to get customers to sample its new offering. So far so good, but it also wants the labels to give it rights for free during that time.
The laughable request from the most valuable brand on the planet comes at a time when music buyers might opt to ditch the downloads in order to try a new free offering, creating a potential quarterly revenue shortfall for rights owners.
As for music publishers, we hear Apple wanted to offer lyrics as part of Apple Music, but didn’t want to pay extra — again, free is nice if you can get it.
Apple’s plans appear aimed at taking the best of Pandora, Spotify and YouTube and blending it into something that will outgun them all. There are plans for streaming music (and video), artists’ pages, a YouTube-style post-it-yourself destination called Apple Connect and a well-documented reboot of iTunes Radio.
Whether all of this will coalesce and result in a host of hot stars on stage with Apple CEO Tim Cook on June 8 will depend on who blinks first.
Meanwhile, our tipsters suggest that Jay Z’s streaming-music upstart Tidal is looking for strategic partners to help it lift off.
Sources suggest that Jay Z wants to find an existing service to merge with Tidal and that Tidal folks held talks with Rhapsody.
Our spies say those talks ultimately broke down.