Apple and indie bands, what happened? →

October 27, 2014 |

Interesting piece by Nathan Mattise at Ars Technica:

Feist wasn’t the first musician to launch off the strength of an Apple commercial; the trend had gained enough attention that The New York Times asked “Is Apple the Oprah for indie bands?” But in the years after “1234,” Apple commercials became a less reliable way for bands to make it big. Lightning didn’t strike in the same way for The Submarines, Chairlift, or the Ting Tings, for instance—and that trio is likely the most notable bunch of the post-2007 Apple ad soundtracks.

Today, the multi-year streak when lesser-to-unknown acts caught their break via iDevice ads seems to have ended. When Apple used an unknown Willy Moon for its bouncy iPod reboot spot in 2012, the song (“Yeah Yeah”) only sold 155,000 copies in six months, according to Billboard. (Feist’s single sold 180,000 copies within a single month.) So sorry, Julie Doiron, you may be a few years too late.

What changed?

I still have an iTunes playlist called “Apple Music”, which includes only artists whose music I discovered thanks to Apple events and TV ads. Now that I think of it, it’s true that I haven’t added any new albums to that list in a pretty long time.