Apple Music to Pay Artists Up to 10% More Royalties for Spatial Audio Content

Apple has introduced royalty incentives to encourage music artists and record labels to publish tracks in Spatial Audio.

apple music spatial audio ad
In an update sent to partners on Monday seen by Music Business Worldwide, Apple said it will pay up to 10% more in royalties for Spatial Audio.

The news follows a Bloomberg report in December that Apple would this year begin prioritizing streams of songs mixed in Dolby Atmos technology in its streaming calculations.

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.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple says the 10% bonus is a reward for artists delivering the content, and also compensation to recognize the additional time and effort required to mix in Dolby Atmos.

Apple Music‌ began hosting Spatial Audio tracks in 2021, using Dolby Atmos technology to replicate an in-person music experience with sound coming from various directions around the listener when using compatible speakers or headphones. In February 2022, Apple announced that over half of the service's subscribers used the feature.

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Top Rated Comments

Sheepish-Lord Avatar
18 weeks ago
All artists will do is run their album through some digital process to meet the spatial audio requirement. To the user, it will be a worse experience and further cements the gimmick spatial audio is unless mastered appropriately.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ctrlos Avatar
18 weeks ago
It’s worth noting that Apple Pay artists double that of Spotify. I know it’s still a pittance but it’s twice the pittance. You can also directly support them via album sales from the iTunes Store.

In short if you care about the livelihood of your favourite musicians: don’t use Spotify. Oh, and go to as many gigs as you can.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lord of the Pies Avatar
18 weeks ago
Although I use Apple Music, Apple devices across the board and AirPods Pro 2 & Max, I have Atmos disabled on everything. It seems to take the 'oomph' out of so many tracks, especially bass-heavy stuff. I found plenty of examples where a song sounded weak and in desperate need of more volume (at max), but with Atmos off, had sufficient volume and the bass thumped like thunder. Especially on AirPods Pro 2.

Dunno why, but for me, Atmos takes the life out of so much of my music.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrWeenus Avatar
18 weeks ago

All artists will do is run their album through some digital process to meet the spatial audio requirement. To the user, it will be a worse experience and further cements the gimmick spatial audio is unless mastered appropriately.
This is the only thing that I'm scared of. Properly mastered dolby songs sound amazing on my home theatre/AirPods, but if the song is ran just through some automated process it sucks ass. :(
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacKid Avatar
18 weeks ago

You seem to have a low opinion of artists as greedy swindlers.

And while some certainly are just that, many artists are actually very passionate about how their music sounds.

In the end, if the artist you listen to cares more about money than about sound quality, you are likely to get an inferior product.
Maybe artists have integrity, but labels don’t concern themselves with principles, and in the side of the industry I listen to, most songs are sold as singles to labels (e.g. Spinnin Records, Monstercat, UKF, Disciple), and when that happens they usually lose control of where the music shows up — and in what quality.

Billie Eilish’s albums belong to Interscope. Ed Sheeran’s music is property of WMG. Megan Thee Stallion is on Atlantic. Unless you’re listening to a uniquely scrappy and undiscovered band (or a “Taylor’s Version”), the mastering/republishing is most likely out of an artist’s hands.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boak Avatar
18 weeks ago

Do you mean fans can tip their favourite artists or that Apple Music somehow pays the listener for their time?
Fan-centric means each subscriber’s monthly fee is divided up to pay each of the artist they listen to in a month, could be based on number tracks, time spent listening etc. This compensation model has been shown to pay emerging artists more.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)