Apple Yet to Contact Indie Publishers for Apple Music Streaming Rights

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With exactly two weeks until the launch of Apple Music, details about the revenue sharing model for the streaming music service continue to emerge. Billboard reports that Apple has yet to contact independent music publishers about Apple Music, leading many indie labels to believe that the Cupertino-based company will soon send a bulk email to publishers with an opt-in contract attached.

applemusic
Apple will reportedly offer indie music publishers a headline rate of 13.5% revenue, higher than the 12% it pays for iTunes Match and 10% it pays for iTunes Radio. Apple will pay indie labels slightly higher rates than the industry standard, contributing to Apple Music's overall 71.5% revenue sharing, in return for making no royalty payments during the three-month free trial it will offer consumers.

"That free trial, with no payments being made to rights holders, precluded Apple from taking advantage of the statutory licenses that most interactive streaming services use. Under that statutory license, Apple must send notices of intent (NOIs) to publishers with a list of the songs they plan to use, and then make payment to publishers using a three-tier formula approved by the Copyright Royalty Board."

The 13.5% headline rate is reportedly part of a larger payment formula that will be used to determine royalties paid to rights holders.

Apple Music was announced last week as an all-in-one streaming music service, live global radio station and social platform for artists to connect with fans. The subscription-based service will be available June 30 for $9.99 per month after a three-month free trial period for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. Apple TV and Android versions of the service will be available in the fall.

Top Rated Comments

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67 months ago

Perhaps Apple is just busy? They are kind of working on a lot right now, and chasing down some dude who publishes music out of a kitchen isn't a top priority.

Either you are being sarcastic in a really bizarre way, or you really don't know what an "indie music publisher" actually is.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago

You must not have much confidence in your music if you think people will listen to it only during their trial period, and never want to listen to it again.

Then again, you must have supreme confidence if you believe people are going to discover your (apparently obscure) music during their 90 day trial period.

Besides not being a particularly nice comment, this shows a lack of understanding of how many, if not most, people listen to music. I might listen to a new song or an album quite a bit the first few weeks after I first hear it. Then after that, unless it's in like the top 100 or so songs I really love and seek out regularly in my music, it just goes into the shuffle with the literally thousands of other songs I like.

So if the OP's song came up in the free trial or I happened to hear about it somewhere, and I check it out during the trial and really like it, I might listen to it a dozen times or so. Total amount paid out for all those listens during the trial? Zilch.

And then maybe I'd listen to it maybe a couple times a year after that, if it's lucky enough to come up in the shuffle? I'm sure there are Beatles songs that I haven't listened to in years just because they haven't come up in the shuffle. Not because I don't like those songs, or don't think they're worth paying for, but just because they don't come up.

When you're being paid based on the number of listens, that's potentially a lot of lost revenue during the free trial period.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago
Indies are exactly the guys you want to support by PURCHASING their music.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago
I'm an independent artist and have spent the last year and a lot of my own money recording my debut album and was planning to release it in July. Someone like me is only likely to sell a few hundred copies and hope to claw back enough money to cover enough of the costs to continue to make music. If I release my album anytime in the next few months, I am likely to receive nothing, nada and won't be able to afford to make another. How is this a good thing!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago

They might get more music labels to join Apple Music if they allow for iTunes Match customers to be part of Apple music, maybe Apple will figure that out in couple of years.

Care to explain what you mean by this? Apple says iTunes Match and Apple Music are complementary services, so what prevents one from signing up for Apple Music if one is currently a Match customer? Apple Music provides almost all of the benefits of Match, so I won't renew Match.

The one feature of Match that isn't included in Apple Music seems to be the ability to upgrade music sourced elsewhere to high quality copies from iTunes. I've already done that, so no need to continue Match membership as far as I see.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
Perhaps Apple is just busy? They are kind of working on a lot right now, and chasing down some dude who publishes music out of a kitchen isn't a top priority.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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