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WALKER’S RUN
FUELED BY APPLE

Summer Walker’s spectacular streaming showing for new set Over It (LVRN/Interscope) is happening overwhelmingly on Apple Music. The platform, which has long been the #2 force in the streaming marketplace (behind Spotify), will have the collar for the next #1. One label insider reports that Walker’s Apple streams are about four times as big as her Spotify numbers.

This is the first straight-up R&B project to explode for a minute; the genre has occasionally made strong gains at streaming (SZA, for example) but is typically far outpaced by hip-hop.

Apple set the table for Walker’s killer first week by featuring her on its refurbished R&B Now playlist, which lives in the Apple Music carousel. R&B Now also showcases cuts by Chris Brown, H.E.R., Wale, Jhene Aiko, Bryson Tiller and Teyana Taylor, among others. Could this high-profile curation provide similar stellar streams for other stars of the genre? We shall see.

Apple Music has dominated the black-music business despite the exit of Jimmy Iovine and much of his team, which built the platform around the pursuit of this pop-cultural phenomenon. Spotify, which itself has shed music-focused execs like Nick Holmstén, Troy Carter and RapCaviar creator Tuma Basa, among others, missed the boat on Summer. Still the company’s global reach is enormous; they don’t seem to care.

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