Apple Inc. and the National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced a partnership as the tech giant’s audio streaming platform looks to create a playlist that will feature new artistes from the independent music label United Masters.
A weekly update of 40 songs on The Base:Line Hip-Hop playlist will be available via Apple Music and all of the league’s digital platforms with featured tracks playing during game highlights shared on NBA’s social media channels.
The NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “This partnership with Apple Music will engage the NBA’s global audience around music that resonates with our players and fans. Working together with Apple Music and UnitedMasters, we are excited to provide a massive digital stage for their extensive list of top and emerging artists.”
“There’s more supply than the conventional legacy labels can handle…Artists today are getting to audiences before getting to a record company.”– UnitedMasters founder, Steve Stoute
Ibrahim “Ebro” Darden, of Ebro in the Morning and Apple Music’s global head of hip hop and R&B, said: “NBA players come from the same communities that the music does. That is why the artists and the players feel connected. Many artists wanted to make it to the NBA before their life took a turn. Base:Line is a playlist that gets closer to the community where the artist and the music is beginning.”
United Masters is a relatively new music label that connects about 190,000 independent artists to audiences through direct collaborations with brands. “There’s more supply than the conventional legacy labels can handle,” UnitedMasters founder Steve Stoute said in an interview. “Artists today are getting to audiences before getting to a record company.”
Apple is relying on digital services to lift revenue in the wake of slowed growth of hardware products like the iPhone. Apple Music has more than 60 million paying subscribers, trailing Spotify Technology SA globally. New partnerships such as the NBA deal may bring in new subscribers who are fans of the game.