Apple Hires Drake, Pharrell As iTunes Radio DJs
According to The New York Post, Drake is in talks with Apple to be featured as an iTunes Radio guest DJ, for which the rapper will be paid $19 million. The company recently picked up former BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe, and Trent Reznor is “playing a major role” in developing the new streaming service, so Drake is just one in a series of big-name artists that Apple hopes to enlist to help brand the revamped product. Ain’t no tellin’ when or if Drake will accept these bandz, nor is it clear yet whether this would be an ongoing gig or a one-time thing, though for $19M you’d think they’d squeeze more than one appearance out of him. We’ll update when more details emerge.
UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal offers additional details about Apple’s plans. Apparently Beats Music will continue at first, running alongside the new service until Beats subscribers are migrated over. As predicted, Apple will offer unlimited on-demand streaming for $10/month, but unlike Spotify there will be no free option. The artist-programmed iTunes Radio channels, which could also feature Q-Tip and Dr. Dre in addition to Drizzy according to WSJ, would help Apple compete with Pandora and SiriusXM. Apple “is prepared to cannibalize its download business in favor of streaming,” the report says, but the necessary deals with Universal, Sony, and Warner Music are actually still in negotiations.
UPDATE 2: Billboard confirms Drake and Pharrell have signed deals with Apple, but quotes a source that says the $19M figure is not accurate.