Apple Music has inked new, multi-year licenses with the three major music companies — Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group — in recent months, according to the Financial Times, although the deals do not extend to the company’s planned bundles with Apple TV or Apple Arcade.
Apple has been working to create a “super bundle” that includes television, music and other options for several years and in November was said to be including language in its deals that would allow it to combine its services, according to Apple Insider. The company reportedly informed the music companies that it intends to bundle combine its media services into one package, although details have not been pinned down.
Reps for Apple Music, Sony, Universal and Warner did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment.
By contrast, Spotify, the world’s leading music-streaming service, is said to be out of contract with two majors, but that is not an uncommon situation. Streaming services renew their deals with labels every two to three years and are essentially in a constant state of negotiation with them; the deals often expire but continue under the last agreed-upon terms until a new one is struck.
Spotify CFO Paul Vogel said as much in a Q&A session at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom conference earlier this month.
“Clearly it’s taking a while to get some of these deals done,” he said, acknowledging that the streamer has historically been inaccurate with calculating when it will be able to close its licensing pacts. “We understand what we need, but we’re inaccurate with [predicting] the timeline, and that has continued. But,” he stressed. “nothing is being impacted or slowed down by our negotiations with the labels. We’re definitely partners with labels, we know they help us grow and they know streaming is the marketplace – we’re the largest contributor to streaming growth, every other platform is declining, but they’re very much partners.”
Spotify last month reported that it has reached 124 million paid subscribers; Apple Music is the world’s No. 2 streaming service, reported last June that it has passed 60 million paid subscribers.