Apple Music, NBA Announce New Partnership to Promote Independent Artists

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has today announced a new partnership with Apple Music, which includes a new playlist titled Base:Line featuring about 40 hip-hop songs from independent artists from an emerging label, Bloomberg is reporting.


According to the NBA’s SVP of media distribution Jeff Marsilio, the tracks will be refreshed every week and will also be available on the NBA app and website. Marsilio added the songs from the playlist will also be used in-game highlights shared on social media.

Apple’s services chief and NBA fan Eddy Cue, who was involved in the deal, said the playlist has been designed to support emerging and established independent “urban artists.”

While the playlist will be maintained by Apple, many of the songs will come from UnitedMasters, a relatively new music label that connects about 190,000 independent artists to audiences through direct partnerships with brands.

“There’s more supply than the conventional legacy labels can handle,” UnitedMasters founder Steve Stoute said in an interview. “Artists today are getting to audiences before getting to a record company.”

The first Base:Line playlist will be available soon on Apple Music and the NBA app.