[UPDATED] What a difference a day and a tweet from Eddie Cue make. Overnight, more and more independent labels signed their contracts with Apple Music after several trade groups endorsed a revised deal.
The independent music community is signing onto Apple Music. After days of acrimony, independent music licensor Merlin, international indie trade organization WIN (Worldwide Independent Network) , independent label group Beggars and others endorsed signing a revised contract less than a week before the launch of Apple’s streaming music service.
UPDATE: EU music trade group IMPALA has now also endorsed the new Apple Music Deal
The battle had been primarily over Apple’s decision to offer 90 day free trials during which rights holders would receive no royalties. After Apple reversed course and promised some compensation, many indies reconsidered their position.
Merlin CEO Charles Caldas wrote in a letter to its 20,000 members:
“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.”
On their blog, Beggars posted:
“Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple. We are now delighted to say that we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future.”
Alison Wenham, Chief Executive of WIN wrote:
“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 and endorse the deal.”
How much will Apple pay during the free trial?
Public pronouncements of their determination to compensate artists fairly aside, Apple is not paying royalties during the free 90 day trials equal to what it will pay after subscribers start paying. Yesterday, we reported that Apple has declined to say how much it plans to pay during the trial period, it dis confirm that “the rate will increase once customers start paying for subscriptions.”
Some sources are pegging payments during the trial at $.002 per play – well under half of what a stream will return after the 90 days.