Digital Music News broke news that, if true, could rock the streaming world & even deal a serious blow to Apple, the most valuable company on earth. When Apple Music debuted, while everyone was fawning over Drake & The Weeknd and being amazed by their 3 month free trial, independent artists got hit. Hard. To have your tracks listed on Apple Music, during the trial period no licensing or royalty fees will be paid to artists. Zero, zilch, nada. You could win marketing forever and get your track streamed 10 million times, and if it was in the 3 month initial trial period this summer, you would get $0.00.
This of course, is not being taken lightly. Radiohead, already a loud commentator on the ever-decreasing royalty payments to labels & artists, would be out the door. Others such as Adele & Alabama Shakes could walk too. And it isn’t just the heavy hitters either. It’s been reported that 70% of the indie artists may walk because of this. In a letter to their artists, Independent Label org A2IM said (verbatim):
“Since a sizable percentage of Apple’s most voracious music consumers are likely to initiate their free trails at launch, we are struggling to understand why rights holders would authorize their content on the service before October 1.”
That’s right. Since you’re not getting paid until the trial is over, there’s no reason to allow your tracks to be on the service until 3 months after, namely October 1st. However, just because you want to, doesn’t mean you can. While some artists like Zoe Keating thing that once you give up being on the iTunes Connect Interface you’re out, others are not so sure. We’ll have to see, but if Apple Music doesn’t have 50-70% of the indie music universe, Apple Music may be dead by the time they decide to join.
Via: Digital Music News