Apple Music may have lost a major exclusivity deal with artist Lady Gaga and her label Interscope, with rumors suggesting the company's streaming music service was in place to exclusively launch not only the upcoming single "Perfect Illusion," but the singer's entire fifth studio album. Lady Gaga began voicing support of Apple Music before the service even launched last year.
Interscope Records, which was co-founded by current Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine in 1989, is one of the many labels owned by Universal Media Group. Apple's rumored exclusivity loss of Lady Gaga's new album appears to be the first ripple generated by UMG's CEO Lucian Grainge decreeing earlier in the week that the company would no longer support exclusive music streaming on any service.
UMG's frustration with the trend appears to be a result of the launch of Frank Ocean's much-anticipated album "Blonde" last weekend. In order to fulfill his record deal with Def Jam (another UMG label), the singer released the visual album "Endless" under Def Jam Recordings. He then launched the actual, full-length album Blonde independently under his own Boys Don't Cry label, along with an Apple Music exclusivity deal of two weeks. The move is making UMG consider suing Ocean for his tactics.
It's not clear what the exclusive nature of Apple Music and Lady Gaga's deal might have been, but it's interesting to see how quickly UMG's reaction to the trend has taken effect, if the rumors turn out to be true. Although still unconfirmed, Lady Gaga's new album is predicted to debut sometime this fall, while Perfect Illusion is set for a single debut in September.