“We want artists to be focused on creating the best music on the planet,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of services told The Journal. “That’s their art and skill and it’s hard to have to be the marketing person and the finance person and the salesperson and do all these things when you’re starting out.”
UnitedMasters founder Steve Stoute, a former exec at Sony Music and Interscope Geffen A&M Records, also started ad agency Translation, which is now part of UnitedMasters and helps high-profile clients including the NBA, ESPN and State Farm connect with artists.
“We’re at the beginning of a new way these models around artists are going to work going forward—everyone’s moving from employee to ownership,” said Stoute.
Major labels continue to benefit the most from streaming services, which pay artists out from a pool of subscription and advertising revenue based on market share.
While it can be hard to stand out on a service like Spotify, which has over 60,000 new tracks uploaded each day, Stoute is optimistic that his partnership with Apple will give his artists marketing support, early access to new tools and priority status even as Apple has its own pact with major music labels.
“You don’t want to feel that because you’re independent you’re lesser than,” said Stoute. “Just because you chose to own your own rights and go your own route doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to get the same level of opportunity and promotion.”
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