Do exclusives matter for streaming music services? Apple is about to find out

You may not have caught it, but the semi-rehearsed back-and-forth between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Bono on stage at yesterday’s iPhone event revealed that Apple paid dearly to make U2’s new album free to iTunes customers. Exactly how much Apple spent to make the album free isn’t known, but it was likely a sizable amount. The deal included making U2’s Songs of Innocence available as a free digital download to all iTunes customers across 119 markets across the globe. Apple also gets exclusive rights to play the song on Beats Music and iTunes Radio through October. […] If Apple’s strategy works, we could start seeing exclusive album launches — and exclusive song library deals — more frequently among the top streaming services. In fact, earlier in the year Spotify signed a deal to make the entire library of Led Zeppelin music available exclusively on Spotify’s free ad-supported and premium subscription services. – Tom Cheredar,VentureBeat
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