Hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams has revealed that his upcoming single titled “Freedom” will be exclusive to Apple Music, which launches June 30 in a hundred countries across iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac and Windows PCs, with a native Android app and Apple TV support due this fall.
The revelation of the exclusive agreement with Apple Music came in the ending credits of a teaser video for “Freedom” that was shared on Facebook and Twitter last evening.
It’s unclear how long the song, which was heard during the WWDC 2015 keynote announcing Apple Music, might be exclusive to the forthcoming music service and if in fact Apple Music would stream Pharrell’s next album.
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) June 23, 2015
The hip-hop artists also received an Apple Watch ahead of its April 24 launch and showed it off proudly on ‘The Voice’ and Instagram.
New York Post, along with other outlets, said this spring Apple’s new music service would partner with artists for exclusive releases, mirroring success iTunes has had in the past. Indeed, the iPhone maker has hired world-famous DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenoma to act as radio hosts for Beats One, which is part of Apple Music.
Following pop artist Taylor Swift’s public stance against Apple’s controversial decision not to pay artists during the free trial window, the company has had a sudden change of heart and confirmed artists will be indeed paid for the promotional period.
This is in addition to a 1.5 percentage point higher royalty rates Apple Music will be paying to record labels versus the industry-standard 70 percent streaming royalty rate.
In another landmark move, Apple Music has signed up 20,000 independent labels and distributors through a licensing agreement with Beggars Group and Merlin Network, and reached a streaming agreement with independent music advocate group Worldwide Independent Network.
Beggars Group owns major indie labels 4ad, Matador, Rough Trade, The Young Turks and XL Recordings, the latter counting artists such as Adele, Jack White, M.I.A., Radiohead, Tyler The Creator and Vampire Weekend among its acts.
Costing $9.99 per month ($14.99 for a family of six) after a free three-month trial, Apple Music includes unlimited streaming with offline playback, human playlist curation, a 24/7 Internet radio called ‘Beats One’ and hosted by celebrity DJs, a Connect social feature for artists and more.
Source: Pharrell Williams