Apple Music Strikes Deal With Thousands of Indie Artists

Shirley Halperin and Lars Brandle, reporting for Billboard:

Apple Music, the hardware giant’s soon-to-launch streaming service, has landed an eleventh-hour coup, striking deals with the independents’ digital rights organization Merlin and with Martin Mills’ indie powerhouse Beggars Group, sources tell Billboard. Label group PIAS has also announced it has signed on.

In a letter sent to Merlin members, CEO Charles Caldas writes, “I am pleased to say that Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about. With these changes, we are happy to support the deal.”

We’ve got a whole week before the “eleventh hour”, but, still, if this issue of paying artists during the free trial was the sole roadblock, it makes me wonder why it took until Taylor Swift’s open letter for Apple to rethink this. Shouldn’t this have been obvious months ago?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015