Published Jun 24, 2015Following protests from artists and music makers, Apple modified its plans to not pay out royalties during a three-month trial period for its Apple Music listeners to, in fact, pay musicians. The influential Beggars Group had been vocal in its distaste for the original problematic business model but has now confirmed that it's on-board with the streaming service.
A collective statement from members of the Worldwide Independent Network — which includes labels like Beggars, Tommy Boy and the Secretly Group and represents the interests of the global independent music community — explains that the labels are now satisfied with Apple's decision to pay royalties during trial periods. This follows recent deals struck between Apple and the independents' digital rights organization Merlin, as well as the label group PIAS.
WIN's chief executive, Alison Wenham, noted that the tech giant "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."
According to the press release, WIN had been in talks with Apple, which helped lead to a positive resolution.
"Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple," Beggars Group CEO Martin Mills said. "We are now delighted to say that we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future."
Darius Van Arman of the Secretly Group, which comprises Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans and Numero Group, added: "Apple listened to our community and then revised its music service agreement, demonstrating that it is committed to treating fairly all creators — labels, artists and songwriters."
As previously reported, pop figure Taylor Swift had also criticized Apple Music in an open letter, which called the royalty payment plan in the trial period, or lack thereof, as "shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company." She had hoped the company would reconsider, which it did on Monday (June 22).
Apple Music officially rolls out on June 30.