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Apple Music's first exclusive is a new track from Pharrell

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Here's a pretty great way to launch a streaming music service: make it the only place to hear a new song from Pharrell, who makes, like, all of the hits. Pharrell and Apple last night began teasing the new song, a track called "Freedom" that was actually previewed without much fanfare during Apple Music's announcement earlier this month. The song sounds exactly as catchy as anything you'd expect from Pharrell, which is a good sign for Apple. If the world agrees that it's his next hit, then they'll have a good reason to sign up for Apple Music. The song goes live on June 30th, when the service launches.

Pharrell's "Freedom" is already scoring Apple Music's first commercial — in fact, the commercial actually announces it as a new Pharrell track. It'll likely premiere on the Beats 1 radio station, which anyone can listen to. But it also seems likely that the song will then live, for at least a short while, as an exclusive inside of Apple Music's Connect section, where it can only be played by paid subscribers (or people signed up for the free trial). If that's the case, it'll be interesting to see if a song can become a hit from behind a paywall — or if the song doesn't just leak everywhere immediately, given how the internet works. Tidal quickly faced the same issues with its exclusives, and it's likely that someone will be out there ready to give "Freedom" the freedom from Apple Music.

Freedom. June 30th Apple Music

Posted by Pharrell Williams on Tuesday, June 23, 2015