Last week, Apple announced that it would stop its annual music festival in the U.K. While it seems like a coincidence, Spotify just announced that it is launching its own music event later this year called Who We Be.
Who We Be is named after a popular playlist on Spotify with 143,000 subscribers. The event will take place on November 30th at Alexandra Palace and tickets will go on sale on September 11th.
If you buy a ticket for around $45 (£35), you’ll be able to listen to Bugzy Malone, Cardi B, Dizzee Rascal, Giggs, J Hus and Stefflon Don live. And I’m sure some of those performances will be recorded and shared later on Spotify as original content. It's going to be interesting to see if Spotify is going to release them as audio or video content.
At the same time, Apple is basically moving in the opposite direction. The company had been hosting a music festival for ten years in London. It was first called the iTunes Festival and then the Apple Music Festival. Apple would release music performances on iTunes after the event.
More recently, Apple has been partnering with specific music artists directly. For instance, Apple has released an exclusive Taylor Swift concert video and sponsored Drake’s tour in 2016. So Apple’s strategy is shifting when it comes to hosting and sponsoring music events. That's why the Apple Music Festival is not coming back this year.