Apple Music: Are we on the verge of indi labels getting no royalties for three months

As we move toward the launch of Apple music, I am trying to understand what will happen during the free three month trail period to indi artists? According to a recent article, Apple sent a ‘take it or leave it’ ultimatum to indi labels recently, basically saying accept the terms – or have no access to Apple services such as radio and more importantly downloads. So maybe they have no choice but to accept? It is also interesting to consider what will happen to Spotify streams during this period: not only will artists get no income from Apple – but if users cross over from Spotify, even for the three month period – artists face the prospect of receiving no streaming income for three months.

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About Paul Carr

Academic working at the University of Glamorgan
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3 Responses to Apple Music: Are we on the verge of indi labels getting no royalties for three months

  1. cleaton8 says:

    This doesn’t sound good for the artists concerned, but I think a great deal of indie artists rely on more than one streaming service for revenue, so the impact will depend on what other sites and methods they are using. It will be interesting to see the affect of Apple music on the usage and revenue of other sites such as Spotify, which will be a while, and even then we have to treat BPI and Neilsen stats with an element of scepticism.
    It was about a year ago when I heard that Apple were in talks with Trent Reznor about this, and being a fan of NIN sparked my interest. It’s surprised me that Apple and co. have done this considering Reznor’s past outbursts concerning label and artist balance, but also the industry is changing, with the tech companies shifting the balance of power amongst the ‘Big’ labels. To be able to put out an ultimatum like this is either gutsy or they know they have the clout to dictate these kinds of terms.


  2. Paul Carr says:

    Agreed – I think it is the latter of your final points – they know they have the clout!!


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