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Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple Music may soon sign up more exclusive artists to the service, through Apple’s newly acquired startup, Platoon.

Apple’s music streaming service, which hit 50 million subscribers in May, is locked in a battle with competitors such as Spotify and Pandora. Apple has been making several moves lately to try to gain an advantage in the industry, and the purchase of Platoon may certainly help.

Platoon is a small tech startup that looks to help independent musicians get discovered by major labels. Unsigned artists may not have enough money to record their music in studios and gain access to editing software. Platoon comes into the picture by funding artists that it believes will succeed in the business, helping them not only create their music, but also to sell it.

Apple confirmed to CNBC that it has acquired Platoon, a deal that was first reported by Music Business Worldwide. The price of the purchase was not disclosed.

The London-based company was founded in 2016 by Denzyl Feigelson, a veteran of the music industry, and Saul Klein, a co-founder of LoveFilm. Feigelson worked with Apple for more than 15 years on live events and artist relations before starting Platoon.

Artists that have worked with Platoon include Bille Eilish, Stefflon Don, Jorja Smith, Jacob Banks, Rex Orange County, Mr. Eazi, and YEBBA.

With Platoon on its side, Apple may soon start seeing an influx of exclusive artists after first receiving help from the newly acquired startup. A longer list of exclusive artists will help differentiate Apple Music from rival services, as it moves toward the next goal of 60 million subscribers.

Apple Music has received several upgrades recently, including the partnership with Genius in October that brought lyrics to the tracks found in the app. In the same month, Apple acquired Asaii, a music analytics company that offers services such as Discover Charts, which claims to determine artists who will release the next major hits, and an API that allows music streaming services to add recommendations to their apps.

The focus on improving Apple Music to attract more subscribers comes as Apple is reportedly struggling with sales for its iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

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