One by one yesterday, independent music trade groups and labels announced they would be signing revised contracts with Apple Music. It was a major victory for indies who had objected to Apple’s plan not to pay royalties during their free trial, but it quickly became clear that they would still not be paying the full rate.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Hypebot that Apple Music will pay .2 cents ($.002) per song play during 90 day free trails when it launches next Tuesday, June 30th. Apple’s payments will be similar to the effective rate that Spotify pays for plays on its free music service, and half of what it pays for plays by paid subscribers.
This rate does not include payments to songwriters. Several sources are reporting that the major labels received either advances or guaranteed minimum payments during the initial 90 day trials.
After the free trials, Apple will pay a royalty of 71.5% of all subscription revenue. That’s slightly higher than the 70% which Spotify pays.