Apple Music to Incentivize Artists to Make Songs Available in Spatial Audio

Apple will begin encouraging artists and record labels to adopt Spatial Audio with royalty incentives, Bloomberg reports.

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Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg says that Apple will prioritize streams of songs mixed in Dolby Atmos technology in its streaming calculations starting next year. The change will result in higher royalty payments for artists and labels that adopt and expand the technology in their catalogs. Listeners do not have to listen to the Spatial Audio version of a song for artists to be eligible for the added benefits, with the availability of tracks in Dolby Atmos being sufficient. The new Apple Music policy is yet to be publicly announced.

‌Apple Music‌ introduced Spatial Audio support in 2021, using Dolby Atmos technology to ostensibly replicate an in-person music experience with sound coming from various directions around the listener when using compatible audio hardware. In February 2022, Apple announced that over half of the service's subscribers used the feature. Amazon Music similarly provides Dolby Atmos audio at no additional cost, but Spotify has yet to adopt the format.

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Top Rated Comments

Eldaerenth Faexidor Avatar
27 weeks ago
I have this turned off for Apple Music as it sounds horrible for most of the songs imo. Hopefully it doesn’t affect normal stereo sound.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
27 weeks ago
I hope this doesn’t increase the number of old songs totally ruined by terrible Dolby Atmos mixes, but I’m sure it will.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
27 weeks ago
I tried this when it came out and couldn't stand it....
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
27 weeks ago
I'm so happy I've been building and maintaining my own music library for 20+ years (and counting)

I really don't want Spatial Audio for stereo music, and I especially don't want older songs "upgraded" to SA

This is just more "trying to find a new thing" from Apple.
Very forced
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
al0kz Avatar
27 weeks ago
When done well and thoughtfully, Atmos sounds really good! This incentive is just encouraging implementation for the sake of implementation and that’s going to negatively affect how it’ll sound (much like Dolby Atmos @ initial launch on AM).
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TurboDrooler Avatar
27 weeks ago

I hope this doesn’t increase the number of old songs totally ruined by terrible Dolby Atmos mixes, but I’m sure it will.
I listened to a Weezer song from their first album that had been mixed into Spatial Audio. It was awful. But I have heard others, artists with cleaner sounds, where it was beautiful. I think it depends on both the source and mixing and mastering engineer.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)