For instance, Apple Music was the only place to stream Chance The Rapper's 2016 mixtape Coloring Book for the first two weeks after its release. Apple also struck a similar deal for Frank Ocean's Boys Don't Cry last year. We had no idea how much this type of arrangement costs until, as The Fader notes, Chance The Rapper pulled back the curtain today. In a series of tweets, the artist said that in exchange for advertising and two weeks of exclusive streaming rights, he was paid half a million dollars.
"I wanna clear things up," Chance tweeted before revealing that Apple gave him $500,000 for the two-week exclusive. A couple minutes later, he added, "That was the extent of my deal, after 2 weeks it was on SoundCloud for free. I needed the money and they're all good people over there."
Chance prides himself on being an independent artist, so he shared this information to "remain transparent" about his relationship with the streaming giant. He wrote that as long as they're working with good people, getting paid, and keeping your integrity, artists shouldn't have to justify partnering with anybody.
Exclusives are a point of contention, since ultimately, they keep music away from listeners. Consumers subscribed to the "wrong" service could miss out on the songs they want. Exclusives are apparently a headache for record labels as well, since Universal Music Group claims to be done with them. Artists have the potential to do well in this situation, though: "I think artist can gain a lot from the streaming wars as long as they remain in control of their own product," Chance tweeted.
This is the first time we've been able to put a dollar amount on timed streaming exclusives, and that's significant. Coloring Book was the first streaming-only album to chart on the Billboard 200 and be nominated for (and win) a Grammy. We know streaming is a big part of popular music's future, and now we have a better idea of how much money is involved.