Apple has, according to various reports, signed some kind of deal with Cash Money Records and its co-founder rapper Birdman. Though some reports are claiming that this could be a sign of an exclusivity deal, others instead note that Apple and Cash Money Records have teamed up to make a documentary together.
Cash Money Records was co-founded in 1991 by Birdman himself. It represents artists including Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Tyga.
Birdman confirmed the deal in an Instagram post, describing it as a "power move."
The news hit the Web in a series of Instagram posts from Apple Music head of content Larry Jackson and Birdman. In Birdman's post (right), the rapper describes the deal with Apple Music as being a “power move,” and in Jackson's post, Birdman is described as being a “tough negotiator.” Such terms suggest that a significant deal is either in the works, or has been fully inked between Apple and Cash Money Records, though the nature of the deal remains unknown.
MusicBusinessWorldwide offered two possible scenarios:
Apple may well have stumped up a big cheque to make it happen, potentially alongside some promotional guarantees regarding both iTunes and Apple Music itself.
One possible option: Apple paid out a weighty advance to Cash Money, at least some of which will be recouped from the label's future Apple Music/iTunes income.
Another: the two parties are co-creating content, whether music or video, which will remain exclusive to Apple.
Bloomberg then came out with a separate report, however, arguing that the move concerns a future documentary which Apple and Cash Money Records are joining forces to create. This, like the upcoming “Planet of the Apps,” should be exclusively available on Apple's platform, though the exact nature of the documentary remains unknown.
The folks behind Apple Music clearly take exclusive content seriously: before now, other artists have been encouraged to offer exclusive music and content, including Taylor Swift. The more this kind of stuff appears on Apple Music, the more music fans are going to want to subscribe to Apple's service instead of a competitor's (like Spotify).
Of course, we'll keep you posted with further information as we receive it.