You will need Apple Music to listen to J. Cole’s albums in spatial audio

Artists and tech companies are more determined than ever to use 360-degree audio as a hook to pull you in. J. Cole did Apple Music is the exclusive home of the spatial audio mixes (in this case, Dolby Atmos) from its comprehensive catalog. You may need to change the service if you want to listen 2014 Forest Hills Route Where Off-season with a more immersive soundstage.

The move does not necessarily require new equipment. Dolby Atmos playback is automatic with recent AirPods and Beats headphones, but you can manually enable the format for Android or compatible third-party audio equipment.

The deal comes just days after the David Bowie estate made subsequent albums available on a trio of Sony’s 360 Reality Audio services, and shows how spatial audio has become a major battleground. Streaming providers are clearly hoping you will subscribe to hear your favorite stars in new ways, but Apple, Sony and others are also benefiting by boosting sales of headphones and other hardware. Don’t be surprised if you see more (and possibly bigger) exclusives surfacing in the near future.

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