Indie labels are now jumping to sign up for Apple Music (AAPL)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs live for fans at the 2014 Big Day Out Festival on January 26, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.Apple has signed crucial deals to bring music from some of the world’s biggest indie labels to its new streaming service, Billboard reports.
Merlin, a global rights agency for independent music labels, had not signed up to Apple Music because it was concerned over Apple Music’s three-month free trial period, during which Apple initially said it would not pay royalties to artists.
But thanks to an open letter written by musician Taylor Swift, which criticised the company’s position, href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/apple-will-pay-artists-during-3-month-apple-music-trial-2015-6">Apple recently caved and agreed to pay artists during the free trial period.
Merlin CEO Charles Caldas sent an email to members of his organisation, saying that he was “happy to support the deal” in light of the changes, according to Billboard.
That means that artists including Adele, the Prodigy, and Arcade Fire will likely be coming to Apple music.
A free trial is a good thing for consumers because it means that they can try Apple’s new music streaming service before deciding to commit.
And now that Apple has agreed to pay artists during Apple Music’s three-month trial period, many indie labels — which would presumably be hurt most by Apple’s previous policy — are happy.
Beggars Group, a British recording company that owns a group of indie labels, has also reportedly signed a deal with Apple, according to Billboard.
Here’s the full email sent by Merlin CEO Charles Caldas to members:
Dear Merlin Member
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.
As you know Merlin has not historically had a direct contract with Apple. Apple has direct deals with our members, and that continues to be the case. Therefore, the amendments referred to above will apply to your existing direct agreements, and the amended contract will shortly appear on iTunes Connect. However, Apple has indicated that in the future they are open to engaging with Merlin as a central point of communication and negotiation for our membership.
Apple has a long standing, deep rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work. We think Apple Music provides artists with a business model that’s good for the long term and we look forward to its launch on June 30.
We would remind you as ever that each member must make its own independent decisions in relation to Apple Music and its business in general.