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POSTSCRIPT: OCEAN, UMG AND APPLE

1. Universal and the other rights holders have been struggling with the value of Apple exclusives and their impact on business globally. Obviously these exclusives anger Spotify, one of the majors’ top customers, resulting in the disappearance of artists from key playlists. Important physical retailers in the U.S., meanwhile, have chosen not to stock the exclusives. What’s more, Germany and Japan—the #2 and #3 markets—are still primarily physical.

2. Rights holders, in an effort to help build a pay streaming service, have helped Apple with these exclusives and received millions of marketing dollars to help brand their artists.

3. The Ocean-UMG relationship has been more than rocky for about four years now. The artist has been uncooperative, non-communicative and, some say, downright abusive to people at the company. After a lengthy attempt to negotiate a new deal, both parties agreed it would be better to end the relationship; this triggered the buyout.  

4. Sandbagging: It's unlikely that Universal will take any legal action against Ocean and his team for not disclosing that a second album (Blonde) WAS about to be released, though it damaged the potential commercial viability of the last album under the deal (Endless).  

5. This isn't purely a Universal issue. Top executives at Sony have been seriously perturbed by Apple exclusives interfering with strategic plans for important artists’ development.  

6. Larry Jackson, the Apple executive responsible for making the exclusive deals, is building up a great deal of resentment from the rights holders, who believe he is making it more difficult for them to deal with their artists. That said, it’s worth noting that the Cash Money-Apple deal is not an exclusive deal for their artists’ music, but rather for a Cash Money documentary.   

7. Remember, artists can receive millions of dollars from Apple for these exclusives. It's not about the money… it's about the money.

8. The deep catalogs of UMG, Sony and WMG are being impacted dramatically by streaming in far greater proportion than anyone had ever projected. Many believe from what they have seen so far that catalog will easily account for more than 75% of the total revenue earned from streaming. Think about all the great music of the last century we now have at our fingertips: Elvis, Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Hank Williams, Charlie Parker with Strings

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