We’re used to seeing Apple Music pick off artists one-by-one for exclusive deals.
Now it’s signed an agreement with an entire label – a big one.
Cash Money Records, whose artists include Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Young Money and Birdman, is now an official partner of the service – to some extent, at least.
We know so because the co-founder of Cash Money, Birdman, posted a pic to his Instagram account over the weekend, saying: ‘It’s official… Cash Money makes a power move with Apple Music.’
That ‘power move’ will no doubt entail some kind of exclusivity guarantee – which spells bad news for Spotify.
UPDATE: Sources now tell MBW that the ‘power move’ involves the creation of a documentary about Cash Money and Birdman, which will air exclusively on Apple Music.
Apple may well have stumped up a big cheque to make it happen, potentially alongside some promotional guarantees regarding both iTunes and Apple Music itself.
One possible option: Apple paid out a weighty advance to Cash Money, at least some of which will be recouped from the label’s future Apple Music/iTunes income.
Another: the two parties are co-creating content, whether music or video, which will remain exclusive to Apple.
Worth mentioning that another artist signed to Cash Money is… Drake, who agreed a reported $19m deal with Apple last year.
Since then, Apple has enjoyed a two-week exclusive for Drake’s record-breaking album Views, released back in April.
In addition, Apple is believed to have funded Drake’s video for One Dance, which remains officially unavailable on YouTube.