Tidal artist Prince disses Apple for taking money from musicians

Apple Music may be gaining an edge over rival companies like Spotify thanks to its remuneration of artists — but in a new interview, the artist currently known as Prince inexplicably blames Cupertino for musicians making no money on the Internet. “Tell me a musician who’s got rich off digital sales,” Prince told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, adding that, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Tidal artist Prince disses Apple for taking money from musicians

Apple Music Royalties During Free Trial May be Lower Than Expected [iOS Blog]

After posting an open letter to Apple on her Tumblr page about Apple’s free streaming policy for its upcoming music service, popular artist Taylor Swift managed to get the company to change course – Apple now planning to pay artist royalties during its three-month free trial period of Apple Music. But, thanks to a new statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, it appears artists’ satisfaction with the policy change could become turbulent again, with the Cupertino-based company suggesting the royalty rate during the free trial period will be somewhat lower than normal.

Apple declined to say how much it plans to pay during the trial period, though it said the rate will increase once customers start paying for subscriptions. In the first three months of the service’s life there will be no subscriber royalty rate on which to base the rates. The company could find other ways to calculate a rate and is expected to share its plans with music companies soon.

Apple risks raising the ire of Ms. Swift and others if it comes in with what would appear to be a lowball offer.

Attempting to ballpark Apple’s possible payment rate for the free trial, The Wall Street Journal compares the Apple service to Spotify’s free, ad-supported option, which they point out pays royalties of „about one-fifth of the subscription service.“ Last December, that was essentially 0.14 of a cent for each listen in the United States, which Spotify had to pay a grand total of $5.8 million for its free tier alone for the month.

If Apple goes in under its traditional 71.5 percent revenue sharing policy – which is likely to happen given the wording used when speaking to the WSJ – it could still end up paying out millions of dollars to the various artists, songwriters, and producers that Swift became the defacto figurehead of after Apple listened to her letter over the weekend.

Although, as the WSJ points out, some in the industry appeared content with the original free trial period policy, given Apple’s promise of an above-industry standard of 71.5 percent royalty payment, compared to the basic 70 percent payed out by competitors such as Spotify and Google. Apple has yet to comment any further on the issue, but its shifting viewpoint on the topic, so close to Apple Music’s launch, is undeniably an impressive feat for Swift.





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Apple Music Royalties During Free Trial May be Lower Than Expected [iOS Blog]

UK Indie Labels Say Apple Music Free Trial Could ‘Literally Put People Out of Business’ [iOS Blog]

Apple’s newly announced music streaming service, Apple Music, is upsetting a handful of independent United Kingdom-based music labels who house artists such as Adele and Arctic Monkeys (via The Telegraph). Under the terms being proposed by Apple, labels will receive no compensation during the three-month free trial given to Apple Music users. The labels argue that this trial period will „literally put people out of business,“ and refuse to support the service, which launches in under two weeks on June 30.

According to Andy Heath, the chairman of industry lobby group UK Music, no British independent labels have agreed to Apple’s terms or plan to in the future. Most of the labels claim Apple hasn’t thoroughly prepared the labels for the launch, and that the time between its announcement and launch has left little time for contract negotiations.

“If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business,“ Heath stated. „Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.

Apple hasn’t thought this through at all and it’s not like them. They can’t spring a contract like this on us three weeks from release.“

Apple has attempted to reassure skeptical labels that once the three-month free trial ends, Apple Music will support a 71.5 percent revenue sharing contribution to labels backing the streaming service. The number will even be slightly higher – about 73 percent – outside of the United States to counterbalance the no royalty payment policy during the trial period. It’s still not enough for some labels, according to Heath.

“I think the dynamic here is nothing to do with the royalty rates but there are elements of these deals that are just too difficult for smaller labels to do. It will literally put people out of business.

Smaller labels would be completely screwed. Apple just has to move on this.”

Apple Music was officially unveiled last week during WWDC as a three-tiered service with basic music streaming, a live global radio station, and a social media platform that allows fans to follow favorite artists. The long-awaited service will officially launch on June 30 with a three-month trial period that will allow everyone to try it out for the summer. Afterwards, Apple Music will cost $9.99 per month for users who want to stick around.





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UK Indie Labels Say Apple Music Free Trial Could ‘Literally Put People Out of Business’ [iOS Blog]

Music Executive: ‘iRadio is Coming’, Apple Pushing for Summer Launch

Negotiations between Apple and record companies regarding Apple’s rumored ‘iRadio’ music service are progressing, The Verge reports as one tidbit in a larger article about the music industry in general.

The last report about Apple’s streaming music service came earlier in March when Apple was reported to be offering half the royalty rate that Pandora pays for a similar product.

Much has been written about Apple’s plan to launch a Pandora-esque service this year. Now multiple music industry insiders have told The Verge that significant progress has been made in the talks with two of the top labels: Universal and Warner. One of the sources said „iRadio is coming. There’s no doubt about it anymore.“ Apple is pushing hard for a summertime launch.

It has been reported in numerous publications that Apple wanted to launch its service sometime in 2013, but was having difficulties negotiating royalty rates that were satisfactory to both sides.

That Universal and Warner are the companies claimed to have made the most progress with Apple is noteworthy – Universal was the last of the four major labels to sign onto Apple’s iCloud service, while Warner has been wary of cloud-based services in the past.


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Music Executive: ‘iRadio is Coming’, Apple Pushing for Summer Launch