This is an interesting one- Apple Music has this month launched ‘Up Next’, a new programme to showcase emerging artists to a global audience.
Each month, Apple Music’s editorial team will select a rising star and use its resources to increase awareness of their music. This includes a short, introductory documentary film, an audio EP from a live session and an interview on Beats 1. The chosen ones will also perform one song on The Late Late Show with James Corden, provided they can of course tolerate his ‘hilarious’ banter.
All of which offers impressive reach to potential audiences- This strikes The Gen as the territory typically occupied by BBC Introducing or the various artist development initiatives offered by PRSF (or indeed Generator’s Artist Development strands) and does leave one wondering what role streaming services will play in the future of artist development on a global scale.
In addition, original video content seems to be central to Apple Music’s strategy with the company recently announcing exclusive rights to a documentary about industry figure Clive Davis alongside Carpool Karaoke and an app-based reality show ‘Planet of the Apps’, having previously released Taylor Swift’s concert film of her album 1989.
Having pondered all of that, you can listen to the first ‘Up Next’ artist who’s been revealed as Atlanta singer, songwriter and rapper 6LACK (pictured with Apple’s Zane Lowe) and find out more about the initiative here.
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