Music can change the world. That’s what Ludwig van Beethoven, the legendary German composer and pianist is believed to have said. What we probably need to add as fine print is that music as a language must have a local flavor, something music streaming platforms try hard to tick off. Some do it better. Among the global players that include Spotify and Amazon Music, none arguably do localization as well as Apple Music. Alongside the rollout of Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos a few weeks ago, the The Up Next Local Artist Program has been ramped up as well. This comes as Apple’s data suggests that in India, the most popular music genres are Bollywood, Pop, Hip Hop/Rap, Indian Pop and Dance. The Lossless Audio rollout brings serious advantage over Spotify and Amazon Music, the latter which has HD subscription in some countries but not India.
It was in May this year that Apple expanded the Up Next artist program to more countries, and India was joined by the likes of UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa, France, Germany, Latin American countries, Russia, Japan and Greater China in the program. The idea is to promote new and emerging artists every month, where one artist from each country will get added to this program. Globally, the artists are selected by an editorial team. For India, Prabh Deep has now joined KRSNA and Mali as the latest entrant to the The Up Next program. This follows the earlier releases of the City Charts playlists, which are updated daily, and currently feature three Indian cities—Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. There are also curated playlists on the platform for 8 Indian languages—Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi.
“Being a part of campaigns like ‘Up Next Local’ puts us on the same footing as some of the biggest artists in the world. It’s allowed me to expand my creative network as well my audience and has helped me evolve as an artist,” says Prabh Deep, in a statement. “When you’re an artist that’s going against the grain – it’s important for platforms such as Apple Music to provide avenues of support so that we keep pushing boundaries,” he adds. Prabh Deep’s music will be available with Dolby Atmos on Apple Music. Prabh Deep’s latest album, Tabia, is also available with Lossless Music streaming.
The India artist connect isn’t new. In 2019, Indian rapper DIVINE was interviewed by Ebro Darden, who is the Global Head of Hip-Hop on Beats 1 Radio. The radio station on Apple Music has an audience in more than 110 countries. “From being the first Indian Artist to shoot a music video on an iPhone to being flown to Beats 1 Studios in LA to be interviewed by Ebro Darden himself, Apple has supported me and my music a lot,” says DIVINE in a statement. Rap artist Raja Kumari hosted a special radio show “The New India”, featuring the best of Indian hip-hop on Apple music and interviewed Nucleya and Raftaar, at the time. Also, artists including Prateek Kuhad, Armaan Malik and Peter Cat Recording Company have been featured on Apple Music One radio shows and on global playlists.
Apple has already said that more than 20 million tracks are available in lossless audio quality with the entire catalogue of 75 million tracks being made available in lossless by the end of this year. In India, Apple Music subscriptions start at Rs 49 per month for the Student plan (that also bundles Apple TV+), Rs 99 per month for the Individual Apple Music plan and Rs 149 per month for the Apple Music Family plan. You will need to enable Dolby Atmos in your Apple Music settings. For Lossless Audio, you can choose from multiple streaming options for each network you may connect to (Wi-Fi or Cellular). For instance, for Wi-Fi Streaming, the options are High Quality (AAC 256 kbps), Lossless (ALAC up to 24-bit/48 kHz) and High-Resolution Lossless (ALAC up to 24-bit/192 kHz). Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos are now available for all Apple Music subscribers on Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Mac, Apple TV and Android phones.
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