Album exclusives aren’t exactly popular right now. The go-to draw of every streaming service that isn’t Spotify is viewed by fans as an obstacle to work around (legally or otherwise). One of the biggest music labels in the world is on record as a little queasy about the whole idea and it leads to a lot of bad blood between services that make the consumer-facing product worse. But Apple Music‘s Jimmy Iovine says they aren’t planning to stop seeking out and promoting exclusives any time soon.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, the Apple Music head said that they’re going to keep looking for exclusives, even after the fallout surrounding the release of Frank Ocean’s Blonde.
“We put a lot into this, we’ve had some real successes, and we always hold up our end of the relationship,” Iovine said. “We’re feeling our way around and seeing what works … Every time we do [an exclusive], we learn something new. It’s Apple’s show. As long as Apple’s asking me to do what I’m doing, I’m gonna keep doing it.”
He added that he feels fans will eventually warm to the idea of subscribing to multiple streaming services to hear all of the music they want, much in the same way that many people subscribe to Netflix and Hulu for movies and television. But, even Iovine can’t predict what’s ahead. “I don’t think we know yet, I don’t think anyone knows yet,” he said. “A year from today could look extremely different from what it looks like right now.”
It’s hard to blame him. Clearly the exclusives are pulling in listeners. Drake’s Views, which debuted as an Apple exclusive, just became the first album to reach a billion streams on the young service. And given that Frank’s album is still racking up spins and they no doubt have more big-name exclusives lined up, it would be foolish of them to back out due to a little heat from labels and fans.