Monday, October 24, 2016

Amazon crashes Apple's Exclusive Party with Huge Garth Brooks deal

Written by Tim Ingham — You could have set your watch by it. Exactly one week after the US launch of Amazon Music Unlimited, the online retail giant has shelled out the big bucks to lock in a major artist exclusive.

The best-selling solo artist in US history, Garth Brooks, is now available to stream exclusively on Amazon Music.

His catalogue will appear across the three price tiers of the Unlimited service: $3.99-a-month locked to the Amazon Echo speaker; $7.99-a-month for existing Amazon Prime Members; and $9.99-per-month for non-Prime members.

Brooks has been a long-term holdout from streaming services including Spotify, but was rumored to be shopping an exclusive $30m deal for his catalogue earlier this year.

Apple was believed to be first in line, but it appears Amazon may have outbid its rivals. Or maybe Brooks just felt the love.

Amazon Music Unlimited will be the official sponsor of Garth Brooks current record-breaking tour, which will go worldwide in 2017.

“It is a joy to work with a company that is all about the customer when it comes to service, and all about the music and its creators when it comes to the music,” stated Garth Brooks.

“I applaud Amazon on their commitment to quality and thank them for this opportunity.”

Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can stream Brooks’s latest single, “Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance,” from his upcoming new studio album, Gunslinger (Pearl Records, Inc.), in addition to Diamond-selling album, The Ultimate Hits and the two-time Diamond-selling album, Double Live.

All songs on Double Live will also be available on Prime Music, the limited-catalogue tier which is free to Prime members.

More music from Brooks’s catalogue will be added to Amazon Music Unlimited later this year.

“This is a landmark moment for both Amazon Music and Garth Brooks,” stated Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music.

“Garth Brooks is a legendary country music superstar who continues to shatter industry records and amaze fans three decades into his career. We are honored to make his music available for streaming for the first time ever, exclusively on Amazon Music.”

Garth Brooks has received seven Diamond awards for seven individual albums from the RIAA for selling over ten million units each.

Apple Music has locked down limited-window deals with artists such as Drake, Dr. Dre, Frank Ocean and Chance The Rapper – while TIDAL has scored exclusives to varying degrees with Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Rihanna.

TIDAL remains the only platform on which users can stream the catalogue of Prince and Beyonce’s latest LP, Lemonade.

In August, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge instructed his label heads to stop signing single-service exclusives following the simultaneous arrival of Frank Ocean’s Endless – a UMG-issued album – and Blonde, which the artist released himself, on Apple Music.

MBW sources told us that Grainge wasn’t only motivated by the Ocean situation, but more due to the dangers of locking out Spotify from a release plan.

The Swedish service, which is yet to announce any exclusives of its own, has more than 100m unique users around the world, compared to Apple Music’s 17m subscribers.

Some in the industry suggest that Katy Perry’s decision to exclusively release her comeback single, Rise, as a two-week Apple exclusive thwarted its chances in the mainstream charts.

Perry’s track, another UMG release, was largely ignored by Spotify’s key playlists, which hurt its performance worldwide.

Click here to read from this article's source.