Not many brands in the world are as well-positioned as Apple to support the world during the coronavirus pandemic. Imagine, over 2 billion people use Apple’s mobile products based on iOS, with more than a billion being iPhones. After announcing its advance fund for independent musicians, Apple is starting an initiative in India called stream local, powered by Apple Music focussed simply on Indian musicians.
- Apple Music will feature playlists from Indian Musicians cutting across genres as well as albums for chart-topping Indian artists. This will be in addition to newly released music. This will help funnel more local music to users than usual.
- Some of the artists that are being featured at launch are Raftaar, Neha Kakkar, Armaan Malik, Darshan Rawal, The Earth Below, Sameer Rahat. These are more or less showcases by some of the bigger independent musicians in India.
- The playlists included on stream local will include Badshah, Nucleya, The New India, Indian Independent Hits. Independent musicians should ideally look at these playlists like Indian Independent Hits and The new India which are focussed more on experimental music and underground sounds which aren’t part of mainstream music culture in India.
While this is not a panacea to the pangs of the independent artists in India who have been basically left jobless with the cancellation of most gigs thanks to the 21-day lockdown, this does present an opportunity for acts who have music to showcase as it can cut-through the stream local playlists. Bit by bit, Apple is announcing initiatives for the music community globally, hopefully, there is more in the pipeline.
Apart from this, Apple has also donated $10 million to the Global Citizen and Lady Gaga, COVID19 benefit online concert.
All of this comes on the backdrop of the incredible announcement by Apple and Google stating that they will jointly develop an operating system-level solution for both iOS and Android to track COVID19 cases using Bluetooth technology.