Apple Music signs 20,000 labels and distributors worldwide

“Apple Music, the hardware giant’s soon-to-launch streaming service, has landed an eleventh-hour coup, striking deals with the independents’ digital rights organization Merlin and with Martin Mills’ indie powerhouse Beggars Group, sources tell Billboard,” Shirley Halperin and Lars Brandle report for Billboard. “”

“In a letter sent to Merlin members, CEO Charles Caldas writes, ‘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,'” Halperin and Brandle report. “The announcement comes on the heels of the company’s 180-degree turn on a deal term asking labels to forego royalty payments during a 90-day-free trial offered to Apple Music users. Criticism was loud and prompted Taylor Swift to write an open letter asking the company to reverse its policy.”

“One insider offers this take: ‘The optics don’t look good if Apple backs down to indie labels. But if they back down to an artist like Taylor Swift, it shows they are sensitive to artist concerns, unlike Spotify, who blew Taylor Swift off when she complained about the free tier,'” Halperin and Brandle report. “Beggars comprises four imprints — 4AD, XL, Matador and Rough Trade — and has had a big hand in the careers of Adele, Radiohead, the Prodigy, Arcade Fire and many others… Merlin represents 20,000 labels and distributors worldwide.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Optics. They couldn’t have been planned any better. The value of Jimmy Iovine is now readily apparent to all who wish to see it.

Apple and ‘boneheaded’ decisions – June 23, 2015
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich backs Apple Music after its Taylor Swift moment – June 23, 2015
How Taylor Swift became music’s most powerful voice – June 23, 2015
Apple Music to pay rights holders on a per-stream basis during three-month free trial – June 22, 2015
Taylor Swift wins streaming battle as Apple backs down on royalty payments – June 22, 2015
Apple responds to Taylor Swift, indie label complaints; will pay royalties during Apple Music 3-month free trial – June 22, 2015


    1. Surely as time drags on record company’s are feeling the lack of love. About the only thing they have been needed for is touring and promotion costs but even that is becoming more independently doable. Music groups could run crowd funding for that and get better tickets to their fans in the process and away from the scalpers and overpriced ticket agencies.

  1. It burns me that we have a “no streaming audio” policy at work, because the more I hear about Apple Music, the more I want to give it a try. But if I can’t listen at work, there’s no point in signing up. That’s where I listen to most of my music. 🙁 I can only hope workplaces come around. There’s gotta be a way to allow your workers to stream music without breaking your bank paying for bandwidth.


  2. Beats was a manufactured company. Imagine apple (or even Pixar type) creative minds trying to reinvent iTunes to keep hold of the market they created. Well, there you have it: Apple set up Beats to be the new brand. Beats=Beatles…jobsian no?

    The truth will be out in 5-10 yrs.

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