You famously can’t buy placement on the homepage of Apple’s iTunes Store, which has been firmly under the control of the company’s editorial team. However, some independent labels are complaining that recent changes to the way Apple decides what gets featured on that homepage are benefitting major labels more than indies.
iTunes’ carousels are the cause of the row according to Billboard: they’ve moved from being based on editorial picks to “sales velocity”. But there is also concern at indie-released music being taken down from the store without a clear explanation. Cue speculation that this is related to the upcoming relaunch of Beats Music, and questions around songs where the publishing rights – which Apple will be responsible for paying in its streaming model – are “muddled”.