Indie Labels Sign on to Apple Music After Swift Changes

Apple Streaming Music Industry
Isa Foltin/Getty Images

Apple been able to reach deals with some key indie labels and independent music associations including Merlin and PIAS as well as the Beggars Group and Tommy Boy after it reversed course on royalty payments during the service’s free trial period.

This means that recent releases from artists like Yo La Tengo, Sigur Rose and Method Man will be available on Apple Music when it launches on June 30. Merlin alone represents 20,000 independent labels worldwide.

The deals have been confirmed by the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), PIAS and the Beggars Group.”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,” said Win chief executive Alison Wenham. Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Negotiations between Apple and independent labels broke down over a contract clause that would have allowed the company to stream music without paying any royalties during Apple Music’s free three-month trial.

Apple initially refused to cave in to artist’s demands, but reversed course after Taylor Swift penned an open letter, saying that she wouldn’t make her most recent album “1989” available unless she and other artists would be paid for free streams.

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