Apple, during the three-month free trial period of Apple Music, will be paying record labels 0.2 cents for each song, says a report from The New York Times, citing music executives familiar with the matter. The rate offered by Apple is similar to what Spotify pays for the songs on its free streaming tier.
Apple still to finalize terms
Another report from Billboard claims that the iPhone maker could pay an additional 0.047 cents per stream for song rights. This makes the total payment around 0.247 cents for every song a user listens to on Apple Music. Apple is still to finalize the terms with publishers.
The payments Apple is making to labels during the trial period is considerably less than what it will be paying after. After the three-month free trial, Apple will share 71.5% of streaming revenue with rights holders. However, even this comes as consolation as initially, Apple did not even consider paying labels and publishers during the three-month free trial. However, after the backlash from Taylor Swift and differences with independent labels over the terms, Apple reversed course.
Apple announced a change in its policy on Sunday after Swift voiced her concerns in an open letter and threatened to withdraw her album 1989 from the platform.
Indie labels now in support of Apple Music
After Swift forced the iPhone maker to change its policies, thousands of U.S. independent record labels are now coming out in support of Apple Music. For its upcoming Music service, Apple inked deals with Beggars Group and Merlin Network, which represent over 20,000 indie labels and distributors. This is a surprising U-turn in just a few days as earlier labels were angry at the iPhone maker for not paying during the three-month trial.
Apple Music will be available in more than 100 countries starting next week. Every user will initially be given a free three-month trial, but after that, a subscription will be needed to use the service. The prices charged for the service very by country. In the U.S., the service costs $9.99 per month for an individual and $14.99 per month in a family plan with a maximum of six users.
On Wednesday, Apple shares closed up 0.85% at $128.11, and year to date, the stock is up by almost 14%.