Apple has added Platoon, a London-based A&R startup that is focused on discovering emerging music artists, according to Music Business Worldwide.
The acquisition was also confirmed by British newspaper The Telegraph. The acquisition shows Apple’s keen interest in reaching new up and coming music artists.
Platoon was founded in 2016 by Saul Klein who previously had co-founded the British video-on-demand service LoveFilm (now defunct), and Denzyl Feigelson, who has been an advisor to Apple on iTunes and Apple Music for 16 years, and a music industry veteran for 40 years.
At its London headquarters, Feigelson leads Platoon's team of 12 full-time employees where it has two recording studios. Platoon offers support to its artists from tour support to original content, social media marketing and global expansion strategies. As an A&R company, Platoon focus on talent scouting and helping in developing the relationship between recording artists and songwriters. A&R staff often connect artists with record labels or publishing companies.
Apple has been highlighting emerging artists through its Up Next Program that began in April 2017. Apple Music has put its weight behind developing artists with Up Next, jumpstarted with artist 6lack (aka Ricardo Valdez), a 24-year-old rapper from Atlanta, GA. As part of the program, 6lack appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden, where he was introduced by Beats 1's Zane Lowe. Apple Music also promoted 6lack’s songs on their playlists and on the iTunes store. While the criteria for selection to the program has not been announced, 6lack despite his talent was unknown without any social media following or established fan base prior to his inclusion in the program.
While no one had heard of 6lack, the first song of his that was released on Apple Music was extremely popular or as Chery said in an interview with Billboard, “on fire.”