The debate about royalties paid to artists via streaming services has been going on since their inception. Some believe streaming services like Spotify don’t pay artists enough for the rights to stream their music. Others argue streaming gets artists more exposure and makes it easier for consumers to access music.
Recently, a leaked contract of Apple Music was obtained by Digital Music News detailing numerous aspects of the streaming service’s agreement with artists including how much they will receive in royalties.
According to the documents, artists will be paid nothing by Apple while users are able to access the streaming service during their free three-month trial. The official language of the contract says, “For Trial Users, and for Comp Accounts that iTunes provides on a gratis basis, no license or royalty fees, including Fees, will be due to Company.”
In other words, this clause would mean any artist under contract by Apple Music–who releases new music between the launch date (June 30) and September 30—will not receive royalties. Once the trial period is over, according to the leaked contract, Apple will pay 58% of subscription revenue to rights holders. While other details are known, some aren’t mentioned, like how much publishers and songwriters will receive.
The New York Times also has reported that two states have launched separate investigations to see whether anti-trust laws were broken.
For additional Apple coverage, watch the following DX Daily: