The music streaming industry is quickly turning into an arms race where services are stockpiling marquee names to lure those artists’ fan bases. After Jay Z’s fledgling Tidal recently raised the bar by enlisting a diverse group of all-star musicians like Kanye West, Rihanna, Arcade Fire and Daft Punk, Apple is now in the midst of recruiting their own batch of artists in the lead-up to the relaunch of their Trent Reznor-led streaming service. According to a new report by Bloomberg, among those rumored to be at the center of Apple’s attention are Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine and a dozen more acts.
Swift was among the first to turn the streaming tide away from industry giant Spotify when she pulled her smash 1989 off the service because she felt Spotify’s low per-stream payouts devalued her art. While Swift’s albums popped up on Tidal, 1989 remains absent from Jay Z’s service, opening the door for Apple to lock in an exclusive deal for 1989‘s streaming rights.
Same goes for Florence and the Machine: The band’s much anticipated new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is due out in late May, and the LP – like U2’s Songs of Innocence – would be a major exclusive for Apple’s rebooted Beats Music.
The report that Apple is trying to recruit big name artists comes just after Kanye West revealed in a New York Times interview that Apple offered the rapper $1 million to align himself with their upcoming streaming service. West turned down the payday and instead opted to be among the megastars to sign Tidal’s declaration at a star-studded launch party. Each Tidal owner will reportedly be given a 3 percent stake in the high quality audio service for joining Jay Z’s venture and providing it with exclusive content.
It was recently revealed that Reznor would play a “major role” in retooling Apple’s Beats Music, which the company acquired as part of their $3 billion deal for Beats Electronics. When the service relaunches later this year – it could be attached to Apple’s next major operating system update – Apple will likely rebrand the streaming service something other than “Beats Music.”