However deliberate it was when they were originally created, Spotify’s playlists have got one thing very right in the current streaming age: RapCaviar, Viva Latino and others have become strong brands in their own right.
Apple Music has been doing interesting things with its playlists too – for example commissioning artists to create original, varied artwork for its curated playlists – but now it’s clearly also keen to beef up its key brands. Witness playlist The A-List: Hip-Hop, which has just been revamped as ‘Rap Life’. Focused on hip-hop, it’ll now also have a weekly show on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station.
“Rap Life will update as the culture updates. We will move at the speed of culture and some weeks that will be daily as new marquee material drops,” Apple’s Ebro Darden told Billboard.
It’s the latest sign of the battle between Apple and Spotify (and others, but these two in particular) to represent hip-hop best in the streaming world. Big numbers for a host of hip-hop albums has already shown that Apple has built a culture and an expectation from listeners for the genre, but until now it lacked a RapCaviar-level brand to go with it. Game on.