Apple and indie publishers are still ironing out Music deals

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Mariella Moon
June 25, 2015 6:55 AM
In this article: apple, applemusic, Indie
Apple and indie publishers are still ironing out Music deals

Apple recently gave in to indie labels' demands for proper compensation during its three-month Music trial, thanks in part to Taylor "Catastrophe" Swift. Now, Billboard and The New York Times have revealed some pertinent details about the deal: Apple has apparently promised to pay royalties worth $0.002 or 0.2 cents for each song streamed during the free trial period, which is on par with Spotify's free tier rate. Music publishers (songwriters and composers) will also get a tiny piece of the pie, which could be around $0.00047 per stream. Those rates apply to all labels, but it's a bigger victory for indies, which reportedly didn't even get a copy of Apple Music's terms until the day it was announced -- major labels had been in talks with Cupertino way before that date. That said, the two factions' negotiations aren't over yet.

It turns out indie publishers, in particular, aren't too happy with a few aspects of the deal, including a condition that gives Apple a 50 percent discount for two years if its Music service is bundled with a carrier plan. They're also worried about possible logistics and accounting issues, since the company plans to pay labels and publishers directly instead of sending the money through performance rights organizations. Despite these remaining issues, Billboard says Apple is a lot more responsive to indie musicians now and is already working on a fix.

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