Billboard reports that with two weeks left until the launch of Apple Music, the Cupertino firm has yet to contact independent music labels about streaming rights for the new service. Many indie labels believe the company will simply send a bulk email to publishers with an opt-in contract attached.
Apple will reportedly offer indie music publishers a headline rate of 13.5% revenue, higher than the 12% it pays for iTunes Match and 10% it pays for iTunes Radio. Apple will pay indie labels slightly higher rates than the industry standard, contributing to Apple Music’s overall 71.5% revenue sharing, in return for making no royalty payments during the three-month free trial it will offer consumers.
It’s that three-month free trial that prevented Apple from taking advantage of the statutory licenses that most interactive streaming services use. Billboard notes that under that license, the company must send notices of intent to publishers with a list of the songs they plan to use, and then make payment to publishers using a three-tier formula approved by the Copyright Royalty Board.
Apple Music debuted last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The new service will offer streaming music, a live 24-hour global “radio station,” and Apple Connect, a social platform to allow artist to connect with fans. The service goes live June 30, and will run $9.99 per month for a single user subscription, and $14.99 for a family plan that allows up to 6 family listeners. Users will receive a free three month trial to get them hooked.