Kanye West hasn’t been shy when it comes to expressing his opinions about Apple. Earlier this week he sat down for an interview with AdWeek and noted he thought Samsung’s deal last year with Jay-Z might have influenced Apple to invest in pop culture through its purchase of Beats. Above, Kanye expands on that thought in an interview with Bloomberg during the Cannes Creativity Festival. In the interview, while explaining that he thinks Apple didn’t see the value in investing in pop culture before the Samsung deal with Jay-Z, Kanye drives the point home by noting Apple offered artists “extra space on the iTunes page” instead of paying them to perform at the iTunes Festival.

We already knew that Apple wasn’t paying artists to perform at its iTunes Festival, which arrived in the U.S. for the first time this year during the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Kanye previously called out Tim Cook during one of his usual onstage rants earlier this year, but we didn’t know Apple was offering artists prime real estate on the iTunes store in exchange for their performances.

Kanye’s full quote is below:

“It showed, now that Steve has passed… It showed a number one company the importance of connecting with culture. And I know you might of heard about this thing where I was on stage calling Tim Cook out and saying why do you have these guys performing at SXSW and you don’t want to pay them. You just want to give us extra space on the iTunes page and stuff. Meanwhile, Samsung realized, the whole point of what we’re saying, is that no you have to go and pay these guys. And that culture and creativity is worth something. The best thing about the fall of Blackberry and the rise at Apple is the win for creativity…

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28 Responses to “Kanye West complains Apple trades iTunes placement for live appearances instead of paying artists (Video)”

  1. chrisl84 says:

    Enough of the Kayne story’s if I cared what he had to say I’d make a world star account

  2. coolguyme says:

    he definitely just screwed his own iTunes placement

  3. Tim Jr. says:

    He’s just riding on Apple’s coat tail because it gets him headlines.. front page iTunes gets artists like him millions in album sales.. and he complains.. amazing..

  4. Is Kanye complaining about Apple’s offer of prime iTunes real estate in lieu of cash or the artist’s voluntarily accepting that offer? If the offer was so egregious why did artists like Cold Play and Imagine Dragons accept it?

    • Just because they accepted it doesn’t make it a good deal for them.

      Imagine if when an app was featured on the App Store, Apple took 100% of the proceeds for the duration of the placement (assuming the app remained paid). As a developer, you could argue to take the deal because it would drive future sales of IAP and what not. But it would still be a shitty move on Apple’s part.

      • Mark Choi says:

        Why would one “imagine that” if that is not, in fact, what happened‽ Do you have ANY factual information that Apple took greater than their normal rate for such sales? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

      • Wow Mark Choi, perhaps you’re unfamiliar with hypothetical examples used for the purpose of creating a parallel. Nowhere did I allege that Apple ACTUALLY takes a greater than normal rate for app sales. I was simply saying that what Kanye is talking about would be similar to that. “Hypothetically.”

      • Mark Choi says:

        I am fully aware of what hypotheticals are. Are you? One uses hypotheticals to make or prove a point, either through analogy or by proposing an alternate potential explanation. NEITHER is applicable here.
        There is NO attempt to provide a parallel here. What, pray tell, is the ACTUAL Apple practice that this is a “parallel” to? Nor is this used to present an alternative, as your own most recent comment makes clear. In fact, the practice at Apple is EXACTLY as it has been stated. Participation in the event was not paid (NOT at all an unprecedented occurrence in the music industry) but was rewarded with a highly sought after higher placement in the iTunes store, which, on average, nets an artist a SIGNIFICANTLY larger number of sales, for which the artist receives exactly the increased revenue as expected.
        Moreover, all artists know this, and no one is forcing them to participate. As with most other times Kanye West has opened his mouth, he is a big, whiney baby, all sound and fury, signifying nothing. No one cares, even in the music industry, and the world moves on in exactly the course it would have had he not wasted every one’s time.

      • Oh really? Are you in the music business? I am, and I can tell you that just because we take deals that big companies give us, doesn’t mean that its fair. That’s the part of my (and Kanye’s) argument that you don’t understand. I am not talking about what ACTUALLY happened, instead I’m addressing that not getting paid for a performance is unfair to the artist.

      • Hence my “hypothetical” parallel. What you’ve described is tantamount to Apple taking 100% of up-front sales on an app that they feature on the coveted front page of the App Store.

      • People who aren’t in the music business don’t realize that there are about 100 people per artist that go into doing a live show. It’s not just about Kanye getting paid.

      • Mark Choi says:

        I was, at one time, in the music business, not that that makes any difference. You do understand what logical fallacies are, right? Beyond that, who gets to decide “fair”? Any artist is perfectly free NOT to perform in the festival if they don’t like the terms. “Fairness” is not even remotely relevant.
        You clearly do not understand what either “hypothetical” or “parallel” mean. What I’ve described is in no way, shape, or form “tantamount to Apple taking 100% of up-front sales on an app that they feature on the coveted front page of the App Store”. It is “tantamount” to them signing an agreement with you to include your app free in the default distribution of iOS, but giving you the standard 70% of in-app sales (a deal any app maker wold kill for!).
        A parallel has to actually parallel something, not veer off wildly from the get-go.

        “People who aren’t in the music business don’t realize that there are about 100 people per artist that go into doing a live show.” And? Most if not all those support personnel ARE paid. Are you claiming stage workers and roadies are working these events free? Really?!? Are you talking about HIS support staff? They are presumably earning salaries, and get paid regardless. If not they are bound to whatever employment terms they have with West. That is between them, and is not Apple’s concern.
        “It’s not just about Kanye getting paid.” Yeah, tell that to Kanye.

      • Mark Choi says:

        Oh, and FTR most artists in the music industry do NOT have “100 people working for them”. Most people don’t have ANYONE.

      • Yeah about those logical fallacies. Nice “straw man” (love your use of scare quotes) re: most artists. And nice way to take the high road on the morality of artists being paid for their work. No idea why you are so defensive over Apple’s business practices, but I’ll let you be. Nice talk.

      • Mark Choi says:

        Okay, let’s talk about logical fallacies. Apparently we can add straw man argument to the list of terms you don’t understand. (And no, the term does not take quotes in the current context (come to think of it, I guess we can add the term “scare quotes” to that list as well; hint: I used quotes because I was using terms you used, you know, QUOTING you.)) IT was not a straw man argument, it is an accurate reflection of what you said. “People who aren’t in the music business don’t realize that there are about 100 people per artist that go into doing a live show.” The meaning of this statement is quite clear (and just as clearly inaccurate).
        As to Apple’s business practices, it has nothing to do with being defensive. They are a business, and Kanye West is an adult (at least chronologically) and they are each free to enter into whatever contracts and agreements they wish. No one is forcing either. Why are YOU being so defensive of an industry you don’t actually seem to understand?

  5. Dana Hershey says:

    File this under “who gives a sh*t”.

  6. Sounds like a mutually beneficial relationship. Why wouldn’t they do this?

  7. Drew Goodman says:

    Is Kanye even relevant to anything? He’s known more for marrying a Kardashian than he is for his music. Time to stop giving this goofball any more ink.

    • Yeah, that’s true if you’re 12 years old or if you’ve lived under a rock for most of your adult life. From your avatar, I’d guess the latter.

      • jnapps says:

        Kanye stopped making good music long ago. He’s mostly in the press now for making an ass of himself. But yeah, it takes a lot of courage to speak up about 0th world problems, like getting iTunes placement instead of money…

  8. herb02135go says:

    Has this website become 9to5WhoGivesARatsAss?

    Cash is great but it takes two to trade.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Who gives a S***… Kayne is a little chatty Kathy and could benefit from STFU once in awhile.

    • Jordan Kahn says:

      Is one of the biggest pop stars opinion on iTunes and Apple’s position in the music industry/pop culture not relevant? Kanye revealed that Apple offers favourable iTunes placement in exchange for live performances rather than paying artists. That’s Apple news whether you guys like it or not. Can always avoid articles with Kanye West in title if you’re not interested in his opinion.

      • madman8 says:

        Perfectly put Jordan. Thank you. It seems the complainers are guilty of what they are so disgusted with Kanye for.

        Don’t just be a loud mouth complainer for the sake of being heard.

  9. PMZanetti says:

    Kanye would rather get paid for a performance where he can suck all he wants, and still get paid.

    On iTunes, people actually have to want to pay for Kanye West music, for Kanye to get paid.

    In short, even great placement on iTunes will never make KANYE any money, for obvious reason.

    Please to the world a favor and don’t give this attention whore the headlines he is after every time he opens his worthless mouth.

  10. dridots says:

    It’s called marketing. Time for Obama to call him out once again. He’s an ASSHOLE!