While the unholy reach of Apple Music has its obvious downsizes, one aspect that could have very positive ramifications is their Up Next campaign, which uses the company’s reach to propel emerging artists into the spotlight.
Each month a different artist is chosen by Apple’s editorial team to be the focus of a short documentary, which is displayed prominently on the Apple Music hub, a live EP, an interview on Beats 1, and — perhaps most crucially — an appearance on James Corden’s The Late Late Show.
Norwegian artist Sigrid is the latest artist to benefit from the campaign; this worldwide exposure could help close the gaps between different international markets.
Imagine the benefits this exposure could give a Nigerian musician, or an Icelandic band. If Apple continues to search outside the bounds of the U.S. for these Up Next artists, they could potentially introduce millions of users to music scenes they wouldn’t have known exists. If this campaign is successful at creating careers, labels may flock to different corners of the world in an attempt to find the latest… let’s say Bulgarian artist – much like the rush on Seattle bands when Nirvana broke.
As always, it’ll depend on how far Apple cast their net. It’ll be interesting to see whether this is merely another promotional tool used by major labels, or an actual, curated unearthing of talent.