Apple Music is growing faster than Spotify. In fact, it might be bigger in 1-2 years. But maybe it’s not all peachy on the inside?
If you get a job offer from Apple, you might want to take it. This is a company with a storied history, billions in the bank, and lots of benefits. Indeed, it’s one of Silicon Valley’s top places to work, alongside other heavyweights like Facebook and Google.
So why are some high-profile executives jumping ship?
People move around, especially superstars. But the departure of high-profile executive Bozomo Saint Johnearlier this month raised a few eyebrows. The charismatic Saint John wowed WWDC crowds last year, and took the edge off the ‘dad jeans’ profile of Apple’s brass. Sounded like a needed jolt, except that Saint John just hailed a ride to Uber.
Uber over Apple? You see where I’m going here.
Now, there’s an unexpected departure at Apple Music. Just this morning, we’ve learned that Apple Music artist relations executive David Allen is jumping ship. The former Gang of Four bassist structured relationships and deals for the Apple expansion, and is a longtime artist advocate. Throughout, Allen aimed to improve artist earnings and transparency.
Maybe that was part of the problem. Now, Allen is going back to his former employer, North, Inc. The creative agency is apparently working on a new music project, and tapped Allen to helm the initiative.
“I want brands to license music directly from artists that are as authentic as their brand.”
All of which potentially offers a shot to start something from scratch. And finally fix a legacy of artist compensation problems. “I’ve spent more than two decades working in both the music and tech industry, and I want to use what I’ve learned to level the playing field for musicians by creating revenue streams that go directly to the artist,” Allen said. “I want brands to license music directly from artists that are as authentic as their brand.”
Of course, Apple Music is mostly about licensing via intermediaries. And those intermediaries, in turn, tend to keep the lion’s share of the profits. Indeed, the ‘big three’ major labels are notorious for squirreling artist royalties, and even hampering the financial growth of streaming platforms.
It’s a corporate picture that frequently leaves creators out, and may have informed Allen’s decision. “It made perfect sense to collaborate with Dave on our vision of bringing bands and brands together in a new context,” said North Creative CCO Mark Ray. “Our ambition is to develop, with integrity and soul, new revenue models between artists and brands.”
“Dave, like North, has music in his DNA.”