- Michael Buckner/Getty
In 2016, Apple Music and Tidal fiercely competed for which streaming music service could boast the most “exclusives.”
An “exclusive” in this context means that a popular album would be available for streaming on either Apple Music or Tidal for a period of weeks before it was available on the other services, including Spotify.
These promotions convince music fans to subscribe to a paid service, whether it’s Tidal or Apple Music.
Apple had its share of exclusive hits, but one record eluded Apple Music execs Jimmy Iovine and Larry Jackson: Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo,” which was on Tidal for six weeks before it was available on Apple Music.
“We’ll always work together – not everything has to be business,” Jackson told The New York Times. “Jimmy and I went to the studio two times to hear the album and give feedback, not for any reason other than we love him as an artist and we just wanted to help.”
Iovine explained Kanye’s decision was about his now-seemingly rocky relationship with Jay-Z.
“He was part of Jay’s thing and chose to make a deal with his friend, and I respect that. I kind of felt like it was going to happen before it did,” Iovine said.
But, it turns out that, at least in the battle for popular exclusives, Apple Music had a great 2016.
The New York Times points out that five Apple Music exclusives debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, including Drake’s album “Views.”
However, Tidal had West’s album, as well as exclusives from Beyonce and Rihanna, totaling three Tidal exclusives to top the charts.
Check out the Apple Music exclusives to top the Billboard charts in 2016 below:
Release date: February 6, 2016
- Young Money
Release date: April 29, 2016
DJ Khaled, “Major Key”
Release date: July 29, 2016
Frank Ocean, “Blonde”
- Boys Don’t Cry
Release date: August 20, 2016
Travis Scott, “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight”
Release date: September 2, 2016