Apple acquires artist development startup Platoon

Apple has acquired artist development startup Platoon, reports
TechCrunch.
Platoon works with creators to produce and distribute their
work, and it uses analytics to target audiences and build
marketing strategies. Notable acts Platoon has worked with in
the past include Billie Eilish and Jorja Smith.

The acquisition of Platoon could serve to bolster Apple’s

Up Next platform
, which allocates resources to
up-and-coming artists. Rapper 6lack was the first participant
in Up Next when it debuted in 2017, and as part of the program,
he received marketing perks like an interview and live
performance on Beats 1, an appearance on The Late Late Show
With James Corden
, and more. These tools have appeal to
lesser-known and unsigned artists and can help forge long-term
relationships between the artist and Apple as their career
develops.

Apple is banking on the appeal of development to draw
artists in

Apple has spent a considerable amount investing into an array
of music-related businesses over the past couple of years,
including
music identification app Shazam
and
Asaii, a music analytics company
that’s focused on
identifying new and emerging artists.

What Apple plans to do with Platoon is unclear, but it does
fall in line with the company’s trend to improve efforts in
providing useful tools not only for indie and smaller
musicians, but for listeners who interested in discovery.
Platoon has a track record of developing acts that later go on
to become hits, and it has a reputation for crafting
artist-friendly deals
, two things that are incredibly
appealing from a creator standpoint.

With
SoundCloud now offering self-monetization
(and
Spotify gearing up
to launch self-monetization), it looks
like Apple is instead banking on the appeal of development to
draw artists in before they consider labels or other streaming
platforms.

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