Pharrell's New Song Will Be an Apple Music Exclusive — But You Shouldn't Listen To It

Pharrell's New Song Will Be an Apple Music Exclusive — But You Shouldn't Listen To It
Source: AP
Source: AP

Pharrell announced that his new single, "Freedom," will be available exclusively on Apple Music when the service launches on June 30. Apple teased the song without much fanfare during their Worldwide Developers Conference event on June 8, when they announced Apple Music, and Pharrell played the song in its entirety on June 14 during his appearance at the PinkPop Festival in the Netherlands. His announcement confirms what many have speculated: Apple Music will offer artist exclusives. 

In the same way that Tidal offers exclusives, only people subscribed to Apple Music will be able to listen, because unlike Spotify, Apple Music has no free tier. But the problem is that exclusives encourage piracy, and just like that, the music industry could be set back a decade. The idea of a new Pharrell exclusive is exciting, but it has the potential to wreak havoc on the industry.

The idea behind Apple's exclusives is that they'll set the company apart from other streaming services like Spotify and Tidal. It's the same rationale behind Tidal's Beyoncé and Rihanna exclusives. Bloomberg reported back in April that Apple was in talks to offer exclusives from Florence and the Machine and "more than a dozen other artists."

But what's really concerning about exclusives potentially leading to piracy is that Apple doesn't seem to care a whole lot about artists in the first place. Only after their arm was twisted to a breaking point (thanks to Taylor Swift calling them out on Twitter) did the behemoth agree to pay musicians for the first three months of streaming. If Apple Music doesn't care about the little guy, the streaming service apparently has no incentive, beyond its own profits, to stop piracy.

By restricting access to music with exclusives, Apple basically gives listeners an ultimatum: Subscribe to Apple Music or pirate the song. But that's not totally surprising. It wouldn't be the first time Apple has bullied to get what they want

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Kate Beaudoin

Kate is a staff writer for Mic's music section. With an M.A. in journalism from NYU, she's written for Salon, NewYorkMagazine.com, and RollingStone.com. Kate hails from Montana, but eats pizza like a New Yorker—often and aggressively.

MORE FROM

Why Halle Berry believes her Oscar win "meant nothing" to diversity in Hollywood

Here is how the actress is getting involved to bring more diversity to Hollywood.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale tackled fertility and it was the realest the show ever got

British evil twin aside, the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale dealt with a serious issue in a sober way.

'Baby Driver' reviews: Critics are in love with Edgar Wright's latest high-octane film

'Baby Driver' is being called one of the summer's best films.

'America's Got Talent' contestant Johnny Manuel dominates Whitney Houston ballad

The Flint, Michigan, native missed a shot at a music career in his teens. Now he wants a second chance.

How much money does the winner of 'Big Brother' season 19 get?

After battling it out all summer, the winner of 'Big Brother' gets a big payout.

'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke filmed more in Belfast. What does that mean for Daenerys?

Many of the series' interior shots are filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast.

Why Halle Berry believes her Oscar win "meant nothing" to diversity in Hollywood

Here is how the actress is getting involved to bring more diversity to Hollywood.

The 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale tackled fertility and it was the realest the show ever got

British evil twin aside, the 'Pretty Little Liars' finale dealt with a serious issue in a sober way.

'Baby Driver' reviews: Critics are in love with Edgar Wright's latest high-octane film

'Baby Driver' is being called one of the summer's best films.

'America's Got Talent' contestant Johnny Manuel dominates Whitney Houston ballad

The Flint, Michigan, native missed a shot at a music career in his teens. Now he wants a second chance.

How much money does the winner of 'Big Brother' season 19 get?

After battling it out all summer, the winner of 'Big Brother' gets a big payout.

'Game of Thrones' star Emilia Clarke filmed more in Belfast. What does that mean for Daenerys?

Many of the series' interior shots are filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast.