DJing on iTunes, a job so simple your local bar DJ can do it, could soon net Drake an estimated $19 million, according to the New York Post. Drake is among big names like Pharrell and David Guetta who are currently said to be in talks with Apple about joining its iTunes Radio service, as the company takes a similar tack as Jay Z’s Tidal—banking on the listener being lured by celebrities they can’t actually see, but can still take comfort in knowing they’re getting paid. However, unlike the all-you-can-eat fondue plate that Jay Z serves up for Tidal artists, Apple aims to keep it real by giving iTunes Radio users a three-month free trial period on the $10/month service, during which it’s also asked labels to just go ahead and waive their music rights. After all, music shouldn’t be about the money, except the $19 million for Drake to hawk it.
Of course, with most laughing off Apple’s demands—and also not bowing to reported pressure to pull their music from free services like Spotify and YouTube—Drake could end up in an awkward position where he can’t DJ any Drake songs. His own label, Universal Music Group, is among those balking at Apple’s aggressive tactics, which reportedly also include trying to add lyrics, but not offering to pay their publishers. All told, it seems Apple is willing to spend any money necessary to vanquish its streaming competition, so long as that money goes directly to the artist—specifically whatever artists are willing to come talk between the songs Apple doesn’t want to pay for.
Drake hasn’t yet commented, but the full rollout of Apple Music is expected to be announced during the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 8. If it turns out his iTunes DJ deal doesn’t go through, Apple will presumably move on to plan B: putting that $19 million in a big stack, then setting it on top of the “shuffle” button.