This is interesting: last night (September 30), MBW was alerted to the fact that a mysterious ad was shown on UK television – during the ad break of ITV2’s The Only Way Is Essex.
It showed two logos – that of Apple Music and legendary dance compilations maker Ministry of Sound – and a date (pictured) 04.10.18. (That’s the fourth of October in UK-speak, for our North American friends.)
We got on the Batphone to our industry sources today, and found out what’s going on (although no-one from Apple or MoS’s owner, Sony Music, will comment on the record).
In short, MBW has confirmed that Apple Music is going to officially begin hosting Ministry Of Sound-branded playlists from this Thursday (October 4).
Ministry has built streaming playlist brands to date including ‘Dance Nation’, ‘R&B Mixtape’ and ‘Ibiza Anthems’ – which share hundreds of thousands of followers between them.
Now, according to our sources, the only place the public will be able to find these brands, in the streaming space at least, will be on Apple Music.
This looks like a pretty clever deal all round – and once again demonstrates Apple’s willingness to promote and overtly value third-party playlists on its service.
In August, for example, Apple locked down an exclusive partnership with Universal for the neo-classical playlist Peaceful Music, which is curated by leading composers.
As streaming began to dominate music business revenues in the past five years, there were question marks over how UK-based Ministry could translate its hugely popular CD compilations success into the world of streaming – especially with some services openly promoting their first-party efforts over third-party competitors.
The deal with Apple appears to provide an answer: placing Ministry as a valued curation partner on a music streaming service which is fast closing in on 50m paying subscribers worldwide.
According to ChartMetric, Apple’s biggest dance/electronic-themes playlists currently include ‘Relaxed/Remixed’, ‘The A List: Dance’ and ‘The A-List: Electronic’ which are all curated internally.
Ministry of Sound’s record label – which signs frontline artists separate to the compilations brand – became part of Sony Music UK in 2016.Music Business Worldwide