Apple Music loses hip-hop and R&B curator to Spotify
The curator responsible for Apple Music's hip-hop and R&B programming is departing for the service's chief rival, Spotify, a report indicated on Monday.
Carl Chery is credited with securing two critical Chance the Rapper exclusives for Apple, among them the album "Coloring Book," Variety said. "Coloring Book" is now available elsewhere, but for two weeks could only be streamed through Apple Music. Chance would later reveal that he was given $500,000 and a commercial in exchange for the "Coloring Book" deal.
Other achievements credited to Chery include building Apple Music's "A-List: Hip-Hop" and "A-List: R&B" playlists, and helping to break artists like Cardi B, Post Malone, and H.E.R. At Spotify it's likely that he will be curating the service's popular "RapCaviar" playlist, since the previous curator left for YouTube in March.
Chery first joined Apple in 2014 during its $3 billion Beats takeover. Prior to that he worked as a music journalist for outlets like XXL and BET.
Apple Music leadership appears to be in the middle of a shakeup, with Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine withdrawing to a consulting role and Oliver Schusser taking the reins — though not from Iovine, even if his role has never been firmly defined for the public.
In a bid to retain its dominance over Apple Music, Spotify is preparing to announce a major update to its mobile app at a press event next week, according to The Verge. It's unclear what changes the company might be making, but rumors have hinted at a better experience for free listeners and/or the company's planned voice control features.