In an interview with Bloomberg, rapper-producer Kanye West was discussing Apple’s decision to purchase Beats when he said Apple didn’t want to pay its performers at the iTunes Festival, instead offering “extra space on the iTunes page.”
Here’s West in his own words:
There would have been no Beats deal [with Apple] without the Samsung deal [with Jay-Z] because it showed, now that Steve [Jobs] has passed, because it showed a number one company the importance of connecting with culture. You might’ve heard about this thing where I was on stage calling [Apple CEO] Tim Cook out saying, ‘Why do you have these guys performing at SXSW and you don’t wanna pay em — and you just wanna give us extra space on the iTunes page and stuff? But meanwhile, Samsung realised the whole point of what we’re saying is you gotta go pay these guys, and culture and creativity is worth something.
This was the first year Apple held its iTunes Festival in the U.S., choosing it to take place during the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Apple has never said it pays artists to perform at its festival, which largely makes sense because the month-long festival has always free to fans, and the performances are also live streamed for free over the internet.
West didn’t completely bash Apple during his interview, noting, “The best part of the fall of BlackBerry and the rise of Apple is the win for creativity and companies that are based off the idea and not just based off the amount of product they can put out.”
You can watch the interview segment here.
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