Rodgers, a Rock & Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, has played a significant role in creating iconic pop music, both through his disco band Chic and collaborations with music legends such as Madonna, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Daft Punk, and Beyoncé.
Now Rodgers is bringing his music to Apple Music in Spatial Audio.
Apple Music announced in May 2021 that it was adding Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio with support for Dolby Atmos, free of charge for existing subscribers.
Spatial Audio provides a captivating surround-sound encounter where music emanates from all directions, enveloping the listener and making music more multidimensional versus traditional stereo.
Apple Music had earlier said that over 80% of Apple Music subscribers listened to Spatial Audio in 2022, the first full year that the feature was offered to subscribers.
Monthly plays in Spatial Audio have skyrocketed by over 1,000% in 2022, Apple Music said in January.
“now with Spatial Audio you can have the convenience you want while getting a completely immersive audio experience.”
Rodgers said: “What Apple is doing with Spatial Audio, is the gateway to the future. Streaming, and the portability that comes with it, has completely changed the way we consume music and today everything we do is accompanied by a soundtrack of our favorite songs.
He added: “That came with a sacrifice to audio quality audio but now with Spatial Audio you can have the convenience you want while getting a completely immersive audio experience.
Added Rodgers: “When I first put up my master tapes and listened back in Spatial I started to lament the fact that I didn’t have it back then. Like The Beatles in mono our creativity was limited by the technology of the time. The fact that I could have done more artistically would’ve been incredible to me and now thanks to Spatial Audio I can. This is a real gift for music lovers.”
Rodgers had already established a connection with Apple Music through his radio show, Deep Hidden Meaning. The show invites prominent and emerging songwriters to discuss the ideas and inspirations behind their work, offering insights into the creation of songs.
Deep Hidden Meaning recently received the award for Best Music Special at the 2023 ARIAs Radio Academy Awards.
“The Beatles in mono our creativity was limited by the technology of the time. The fact that I could have done more artistically would’ve been incredible to me and now thanks to Spatial Audio I can.”
To mark the beginning of the new partnership with Apple, Rodgers collaborated with Apple Music on a video piece demonstrating his process of remixing his catalog (in partnership with Hipgnosis Songs and Warner Music) in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos.
In the video, he discusses the creative intent, technical aspects, and possibilities that Spatial Audio has brought to his body of work.
In the coming months, Nile Rodgers and Apple Music will organize various live Spatial Audio playback sessions and educational events, including a special evening at the Dolby Vine Theater in Los Angeles. Additionally, retail events will take place at Apple Store locations in New York and London as part of the Today at Apple programming, commencing in June 2023.
The development follows Apple Music’s recent move to raise its subscription price of its service in the US and UK from $9.99 / £9.99 to $10.99 or £10.99. Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio are being offered at no additional cost to subscribers.
In contrast, Amazon Music provides high-definition and ultra-high-definition songs through a premium subscription tier called Amazon Music Unlimited, priced at $8.99 per month for Prime members and $9.99 per month for non-Prime customers.
In 2021, a UK-based tech startup called Forever Holdings introduced an innovative conversational experience featuring Rodgers, powered by machine learning. The project, titled In the Room with Nile Rodgers, enables audiences to interact with the music producer by posing questions through voice commands. The program was developed in collaboration with Universal Music UK, the National Portrait Gallery, and Abbey Road Studios.
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