placement Stories June 20, 2014

Kanye West complains Apple trades iTunes placement for live appearances instead of paying artists (Video)

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…

placement Stories September 25, 2013

Yesterday a story popped up Giant Bomb claiming that EA executive Frank Gibeau said Apple had paid the company a “truckload of money” to launch PopCap’s much anticipated Plants vs Zombies 2 title as an iOS exclusive. Apple quickly denied the comments in a brief statement following the story and said that no money was exchanged with the publisher. As if that wasn’t enough, EA representatives today issued an official statement on the matter saying that the comment was taken out of context (via PocketGamer):

“A comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding,” says EA’s statement.

“Reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA are factually inaccurate, and we apologise for any confusion.”

Gibeau’s comments were clearly taken out of context, and we tend to believe that Apple didn’t offer up any cash in exchange for Plants vs Zombies 2 landing on iOS before Android. But what did he really mean with his “truckload of money” comment? Perhaps EA knew it would receive favorable placement in the App Store as a much hyped iOS exclusive?

There are a lot of unanswered questions about how Apple goes about featuring and ranking apps on the App Store, but it’s big money for developers who often see enormous boost in revenue and downloads when featured on the store.

Last month a report from Fiksu noted changes in how Apple ranks apps and seems to be incorporating user ratings and other new metrics, but this is the first we’ve heard of Apple possibly working with developers to have apps launch exclusively on iOS.

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