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Apple invests in music startup UnitedMasters

UnitedMasters announces a $50 million investment led by Apple.

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Apple is making more moves in the music industry. 
Angela Lang/CNET

Apple has struck a chord with UnitedMasters, a music distribution platform that says it wants to help independent artists maintain control of their work while expanding their reach. UnitedMasters on Wednesday announced a $50 million Series B investment led by Apple, with follow-on investments from Alphabet and Andreessen Horowitz. 

"The contributions of independent artists play a significant role in driving the continued growth and success of the music industry, and UnitedMasters, like Apple, is committed to empowering creators," said Apple's Eddy Cue in a press release. 

UnitedMasters was launched in 2017 by former music industry executive Steve Stoute as an alternative platform for independent artists. In addition to the new funding, UnitedMasters said it is kicking off a "strategic partnership" with Apple that will create dramatic new opportunities for its artists. 

The partnership could potentially have an impact on Apple Music, the company's $9.99-a-month streaming music rival to Spotify.