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HITS LIST WINNERS
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At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Music City
NASHVILLE'S DIGITAL INROADS: APPLE
7/13/16

The digital platforms are acutely aware of the potential of country music, which, as the reps from Apple, Spotify, Pandora and Shazam collectively point out, is one of the most active and fastest-growing areas of the music-content spectrum.

Ken Tucker and Sally Seitz Apple Music/iTunes

How are iTunes and Apple Music working together in the Country genre?
When we are working with labels to set up a new release, we discuss opportunities across the platforms. We are able to offer a comprehensive roll-out plan that offers fans a choice on how they want to consume music.

Thus far, the biggest streaming songs/acts are from genres other than country. Why do you think that is? What initiatives have you implemented to cultivate this market?
While some of the biggest streaming songs come from genres other than country, Christian and Americana, several of our most popular Apple Music radio stations and playlists are from Nashville-centric genres. For example, our Country A-List playlist and radio station are among the most popular in Apple Music. One way we cultivate this market is by offering special or exclusive content that can only be found on Apple Music. For the release of Dierks Bentley’s album, Black, we created four original-content videos, each highlighting a different song from the album.

In the “playlist culture,” is format destiny or is it less genre-restrictive?
I think format is far less restrictive in the playlist world. For example, two of our hottest playlists, Best of the Week andToday’s Hits, incorporate all genres. People just like great music and don’t want to focus as much on how it’s categorized.

We’ve seen successful Apple Music exclusives from Drake, Future, Chance the Rapper, etc. How might a country artist take optimal advantage of such an exclusive?
We’ve had the privilege of working with several country artists, including Blake Shelton, Kane Brown and Dierks Bentley, for exclusives. For example, Eric Church released his most recent album exclusively via iTunes and Apple Music. And most recently, we did a digital exclusive with Blake Shelton. There was also great collaboration between Apple and Warner Music Nashvilleon marketing, including out-of-home, TV, VOD and socials. We
realized a 77% increase over his last album and 45% marketshare.

As a global platform, what’s your sense of the growth possibilities
for Nashville artists in international territories?
Very few country artists tour internationally, for a variety of reasons, with one of those being lack of exposure in countries other than the U.S. and Canada, and to a lesser extent Australia and the U.K. That said, Apple Music and iTunes are global brands that have the ability to expose music to fans and potentially around the world in a way that no one else does. We’re in a unique position to serve that global audience and help country music grow.