Apple Music represents Apple's big effort to not only jump into the world of music streaming, but quickly rise to its top. Launching June 30 and offering the first three months free, the service will offer many of the same features as Spotify at the same price point, so it needs differentiators to entice users to switch. Unique content might be the most effective weapon it can muster, and as such, Pharrell Williams' "Freedom" will be Apple's first exclusive bullet.
Fresh off a very public kerfuffle with Taylor Swift over the initial decision not to pay royalties to musicians and publishers during Apple Music's free trial period, the company is now actually picking up a lot of positive publicity. In addition to the quick about-face decision to pay artists throughout the first three months after all, launching with Pharrell's new track is a major score.
Both stories have led to massive momentum for Apple Music: soon after bowing to the T-Swift's royalty, Apple signed thousands of independent labels, and the Pharrell deal shows the company's commitment to shelling out cash to major artists who can benefit greatly from the massive exposure Apple can provide. Spotify and other streaming services such as Jay Z's TIDAL are likely paying close attention.