Bite me! How Apple’s download chart became a new battleground for pop – and politics

February 07, 2024

Over 20 years after its launch, Apple’s online music store has found a surprising new life – as a battleground for online turf wars. Last week, at least five songs rose to the upper reaches of the Apple Music (formerly iTunes) download charts, powered by different internet factions. Far from a measure of objective popularity, the chart reflected political biases, years-old feuds and outright pettiness. Brooks says that, either way, we’re likely to see more of this in coming years, as music consumption drops on the whole and pop music becomes more tied in with celebrity and politics. “It’s all ultimately pointless – it’s people competing to be into the virtuous product v the non-virtuous product.