You can rely on a senior lawyer to pour oil on troubled waters: Universal Music’s general counsel Jeffrey Harleston has been addressing the question of streaming exclusives, in an interview with Billboard. “I don’t think artists’ relationships with ­platforms are necessarily mutually ­exclusive to their label relationships,” said Harleston, stressing that recent releases by Drake and Kanye West have had labels “very involved” with their Apple and Tidal debuts. “Using Drake as an example, his ­activities with Apple are really in concert with Universal. The three of us worked together very closely on releases like his new film… The most important thing is that the artist and the label maintain the freedom and flexibility to determine how they want the music presented to the public.” Harleston gracefully deflected a follow-up question about Frank Ocean’s recent dual-release: a visual album through UMG then his proper album directly through Apple. “Frank is an incredibly talented artist, and I certainly wish him well…”

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