Pharrell’s new single, Freedom, now available exclusively on Apple Music

apple music festival 2015 pharrell big camo
Not coincidentally, June 30 marked both the release of Pharrell Williams’ new song, “Freedom,” and Apple Music’s launch. The tech giant premiered Pharrell’s latest single on Beats 1, the Zane Lowe-lead 24-hour streaming radio station, signalling its exclusive availability on Apple’s new service.

Pharrell had teased the release with a 15-second video preview posted on his social media accounts last week, ending with the words, “Only on Apple Music.” That’s right: even before its launch, Apple Music had landed an official song from none other than the man behind 2014’s biggest hit, “Happy.” Nice move, Apple.

After a rough patch in which the new music streaming service was chastised by Taylor Swift for not paying artists for songs streamed during the service’s free three-month trial period, Apple Music showed it was back on track. Apple released new trial terms that appeased Swift, as well as the indie labels that were allied in protest of the previous policy. Pharrell, who had already been on board with Apple Music before the changes, told The Drum that he thought Swift had done “a great thing for music and for artistry.” He also praised the tech giant, though, adding , “And so did Apple. It’s not about who’s right, it’s about what is right.”

Pharrell’s announcement refocused potential Apple Music subscribers on the music, rather than the dollars and cents behind it. With the short snippet he released, “Freedom” gave fans one more reason to be check out what Apple Music has to offer. Of course, the fact that “Freedom” is currently limited to one service — at least for the time being — does raise questions about how music consumers will be impacted. With restricted options, people may feel forced to subscribe to multiple services, or have to forgo listening to some of their favorite artists. No details of Pharrell and Apple’s exclusive deal are known yet, so it remains to be seen how long the service will have it exclusively.

Check out Parrell’s performance of “Freedom” at England’s Glastonbury Festival below.

Update by Stephanie Topacio Long 7/1/2015: This article has been edited to reflect the song’s debut.

Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.
Music

The best new music this week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Deerhunter, Juliana Hatfield, Pedro The Lion, Sharon Van Etten, Steve Gunn, and Toro y Moi.
Music

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Computing

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Home Theater

Mobile masters: Tidal’s better-than-CD MQA tracks come to Android

Audiophile-grade music tracks and streaming music services don't come together very often, and when they do, it's not always easy to find a device that plays them. That's no longer the case as Tidal's MQA tracks now work on Android.
Mobile

From true crime to comedy, here's our list of the best podcasts around

When you aren’t in the music mood, podcasts can be your ear candy. Whether you love to stay up-to-date on the latest news or want to know what’s happening in sports, you’ll find something on our must-listen-to podcast roundup.
Mobile

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes

We rummaged through the iOS and Android app stores to find the finest mobile music-creation and music-consumption apps in existence. No matter if you're on Android or iOS, here are the best music apps.
Home Theater

Mobile audio gets an upgrade thanks to new Sonarworks apps

Sonarworks is used by audio engineers around the world to get more accurate sound from their headphones. Today, the company launched Android and iOS apps for the same ability on mobile devices.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.