Apple Music Lands Over 20,000 Indie Labels as Beggars Group and Merlin Sign Deal

Apple Music has signed two major indie music rights holders Beggars Group and Merlin Network, which represent over 20,000 indie labels and distributors, reports Billboard. The licensing agencies agreed to sign up for Apple Music after Apple changed course and agreed to pay artists on a per-stream basis during the streaming music service's three-month trial period.

Adele

British singer Adele is signed to Beggars Group label XL Recordings (via DeviantArt)

"I am pleased to say that Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about," said Merlin CEO Charles Caldas. "With these changes, we are happy to support the deal."

Beggars Group is a British company that distributes labels 4AD, Rough Trade Records, Matador Records and XL Recordings among others, representing artists such as Adele, Arcade Fire and Radiohead, and helping along the careers of Basement Jaxx, M.I.A, The Prodigy and others. Merlin is an aggregator of several smaller labels that have represented music groups such as The xx.

Billboard obtained a copy of the full Apple Music letter sent to Merlin Network members:

Dear Merlin Member

I am pleased to say that Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about. With these changes, we are happy to support the deal.

As you know Merlin has not historically had a direct contract with Apple. Apple has direct deals with our members, and that continues to be the case. Therefore, the amendments referred to above will apply to your existing direct agreements, and the amended contract will shortly appear on iTunes Connect. However, Apple has indicated that in the future they are open to engaging with Merlin as a central point of communication and negotiation for our membership.

Apple has a long standing, deep rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work. We think Apple Music provides artists with a business model that’s good for the long term and we look forward to its launch on June 30.

We would remind you as ever that each member must make its own independent decisions in relation to Apple Music and its business in general.

Apple Music has also been endorsed by independent music advocate group Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), an agreement reached just hours after the Beggars Group and Merlin deals, according to Billboard. WIN was established in 2006 to address the business, creative and market access issues faced by indie artists and the larger independent music sector.

Top Rated Comments

dannys1 Avatar
71 months ago
The lack of Indie signup was the real reason Apple changed direction on royalty fees, Swift is just getting the credit.

Would have been fine for Apple Music to launch a free trial without a Taylor Swift album music lovers don't care about but a disaster to launch with 50% of Spotifys music catalogue and a depleted search for music fans who actually like a diverse range of acts to find. The service would be DOA and the internet would be full of "Apple music doesn't even have artist X".
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leon44 Avatar
71 months ago
Beggars can't be choosers
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
71 months ago

The lack of Indie signup was the real reason Apple changed direction on royalty fees, Swift is just getting the credit.

Would have been fine for Apple Music to launch a free trial without a Taylor Swift album music lovers don't care about but a disaster to launch with 50% of Spotifys music catalogue and a depleted search for music fans who actually like a diverse range of acts to find. The service would be DOA and the internet would be full of "Apple music doesn't even have artist X".

Hate to break it to you, but that album that "music lovers don't care about" probably brings in more revenue than everything else that "music lovers" do care about.

Gamers aren't the main consumers of video games, tech geeks aren't the main consumers of technology, and music lovers aren't the main consumers of music. Heck, mainstream consumers are the reason why Apple is as big as it is.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tomnavratil Avatar
71 months ago
This definitely brings more interesting content to Apple Music making it more appealing to consumers, good signing by Apple! :apple:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scarpad Avatar
71 months ago
yes definitely good to appeal the music listeners that are not just mainstreamers
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMember Avatar
71 months ago

Tailor Swift jokes in 3... 2... 1...

Safari keeps crashing all the time, I hope Apple fix this, if not..I have no choice but to contact Taylor swift, and boom..problem solved
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

maxresdefault

Italy Fines Apple $12 Million for Misleading iPhone Water Resistance Claims

Monday November 30, 2020 3:10 am PST by
Apple has been slapped with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy's antitrust watchdog for unfair commercial practices related to its iPhone marketing in the country. One of the Apple ads cited in the Italian watchdog's proceedings (credit: setteBIT) Specifically, Apple is being charged for misleading claims in promotional messages about how deep and how long iPhones can be submerged...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Developer Delves Into Reasons Why Apple's M1 Chip is So Fast

Monday November 30, 2020 1:57 pm PST by
Apple's M1 chip is the fastest chip that Apple has ever released in a Mac based on single-core CPU benchmark scores, and it beats out many high-end Intel Macs when it comes to multi-core performance. Developer Erik Engheim recently shared a deep dive into the M1 chip, exploring the reasons why Apple's new processor is so much faster than the Intel chips that it replaces. First and foremost,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Apple Cyber Monday 2020: Discounts on iPads, Macs, AirPods, and More [Updated]

Monday November 30, 2020 6:25 am PST by
Today is Cyber Monday, a shopping event that sees many of the same deals from Black Friday bleed over into a new week, along with a few brand new offers on everything from Apple products to related accessories. In this post we'll highlight the best online discounts that you can find on Apple devices today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Mini-LED M1 MacBook Pro and Mini-LED iPad Pro Models Coming First Half of 2021

Monday November 30, 2020 2:24 am PST by
Apple is widely reported to be embracing mini-LED display backlighting technology for some products next year, and a new report today by DigiTimes has named several of Apple's partners in the supply chain that are expected to benefit from the switch. According to the report, Apple is set to launch its first mini-LED iPad Pro in the first quarter of 2021 and mass produce mini-LED MacBook Pro...
Mac Mini 2018

Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Monday November 30, 2020 9:01 pm PST by
As AWS re:Invent kicks off, Amazon Web Services today announced new Mac instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing AWS customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time. Amazon says that the new feature extends the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers as those creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple...
periscope iPhone feature2

Apple Moving Forward With Plans for 'Folded' Periscope Cameras to Significantly Increase iPhone's Optical Zoom

Monday November 30, 2020 8:01 am PST by
Apple is advancing its plans to significantly enhance the iPhone's optical zoom range using periscope lens technology, according to ETNews. Citing industry sources familiar with the development of iPhone cameras, ETNews report says Apple is currently seeking an appropriate "folded" periscope camera solution for the iPhone and has already initiated discussions with suppliers. Apple has...
apple fitness plus instructor kim ngo

Apple Fitness+ Promotion Ramps Up as Launch Approaches

Sunday November 29, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Promotion for Apple Fitness+ is ramping up, with advertising initiatives and teases from instructors being spotted on social media, indicating that the new subscription service may be launching imminently. MacRumors reader Chris Weaver spotted that Best Buy has started advertising six-month free trials of Apple Fitness+ with Apple Watch purchases. The advert suggests that retailers have...
iphone 12 colors

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last month in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 are ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air m1

Notable Developer Starts Patreon to Fund Apple Silicon Linux Port

Monday November 30, 2020 4:23 pm PST by
Developer Hector Martin, who describes himself as someone who "likes putting Linux on things," has launched a plan create a Linux port for Apple Silicon Macs. Martin, also known as "Marcan," has created a Patreon with the goal of earning enough funding to be able to take on the complexities of bringing Linux to Macs equipped with an M1 chip. Creating a Linux port is no easy task, and Linux...
leather sleeve iphone 12 box

Hands-On With the Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models

Monday November 30, 2020 2:13 pm PST by
Apple this year came out with a handful of accessories for the new iPhone 12 models, and in addition to the standard Silicone and Leather cases, there's also a new Leather Sleeve that recently went on sale. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We picked up one of the Leather Sleeves to check it out to see if it's worth the $129 that Apple is charging. The Leather Sleeve ...