Apple Won’t Pay Royalties During Apple Music Trial Periods

Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine and Tim Cook

It’s been a few days since Apple officially entered the streaming service game with their announcement of Apple Music. Personally, I felt the announcement (and the service) was underwhelming – why would you want to pay for a service for the same selections of songs you can currently get for free on Spotify? Hell, I don’t even really stream music that often, only opting to do so when my RAM acts up and essentially makes iTunes worthless. Nevertheless, Apple is doing what they can to not only pull ahead of Spotify, but to also ensure the value of their service doesn’t go undetected by the common listener.

But what about the artists? In leaked contract documents, it’s revealed that Apple is only paying independent musicians 58% of their revenue streams, which is a considerably lower rate than Spotify’s purported rate of 70% across the board. However, this percentage has been put into question. More damning than the revenue rate is a pseudo-dark period in which Apple will not pay artists any royalties during free periods.

Since Apple is offering a free three-month trial period when Apple Music officially launches on June 30th, any albums released between June 30 and September 30 will not generate any revenue for artists through Apple Music. This basically handicaps many artists and their release plans – do they delay their albums to maximize their profits across the board, or do they hope their popularity on Apple Music will translate into revenue from other avenues?

You can read the leaked contract documents below.

[via Digital Music News]

Geoff Henao

Geoff Henao is a writer/kinda photographer affiliated with the Chicago collective LOD. His interests include film, punk rock, cute girls, graphic novels, video games, and the Chicago Bulls. He's funny sometimes.

Leave a Reply