There was excitement on Monday 22nd June following Apple’s reaction to Taylor Swift’s statement that she won’t be making her 1989 album available on their new streaming service due to their decision not to pay artists for streams during their 3 month free trial period. Apple responded to announce that they have listened to both her comments and those of independent artists and have decided to pay artists after all, but how much will they be paying? Apple have declined to comment, but figures being thrown around are $0.002 a stream, drastically lower than Spotify’s payments of $0.006 – $0.0084. After the trial period, their payments will increase to 71.5% of revenues compared to Spotify’s 70% but does this make up for the drop in the initial 3 months?
With the launch of the new Apple streaming platform just around the corner on 30th June, independent artists are facing a dilemma – whether or not to sign the agreements proposed by Apple. So what is the issue? Well, the new platform will be free for the initial 3 months following the launch which means that artists won’t be paid for music streamed during this period. As well as the payments that artists won’t be getting from Apple, they are also likely to experience a drop in paid downloads as users opt to stream tracks free instead of paying for downloads. Artists are also likely to experience a drop in revenue from other streaming providers (Spotify, Pandora, etc) as users make the switch over to Apple’s service. So is this fair? As the free period is Apple’s idea to attract users to use their new platform, shouldn’t they really be taking on the costs involved in this instead of the artists suffering?
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So after years of frustrated SoundCloud users complaining about the lack of royalties paid from music streamed on the platform, SoundCloud has announced a new deal with 20,000 independent record labels. This is in addition to the deal with major labels announced last August through it’s On SoundCloud program. The program allows artists invited to the Premier partner level to monetize their tracks streamed using advertising. It currently only applies to tracks streamed within the US, but there are plans to expand it to other countries.
This is definitely a step in the right direction.