The likes of Adele, Vampire Weekend and The Libertines will almost certainly be available on Apple Music when it launches – after Beggars Group finally signed a licensing deal for the service yesterday in New York.
Sources tell MBW that Beggars founder Martin Mills has confirmed the deal to his B2B partners.
Apple has revised the terms originally proposed to the label group, whose family includes Rough Trade, Matador, 4AD and Adele’s label, XL.
Beggars, alongside the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) and commercial independent music body Merlin, objected to Apple’s initial refusal to pay indies for the three-month free trial of its new service, which arrives in six days (June 30).
Beggars last week told its partners that it was “very concerned” about the effect this non-payment could have on the market. It also expressed reservations about the Direct-To-Fan element of Apple Music, Connect.
Mills was in New York this week negotiating with Apple alongside Merlin.
Although Apple is licensing direct with individual indies, Merlin has acted as a filter – having initially advised its members against signing up.
“We are delighted to endorse the deal with apple music as it stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future.”
Martin Mills, Beggars Group
Meanwhile, the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) has fully endorsed Apple’s new contract.
Alison Wenham, Chief Executive of WIN, said: “I am pleased to say that Apple has 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.
“With these changes, we are happy to support and endorse the deal. Apple has a long-standing, deep-rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work. 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 30th.”
A number of other key figures from the independent music community have also voiced their support for the new deal:
- “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. Secretly Group is proud to continue its partnership with Apple towards making music truly indispensable.” (Darius Van Arman, Secretly Group )
- “Today’s agreement shows Apple’s concern for the issues of the artist and independent label creative community. We look forward to Apple achieving huge and rapid success with its subscription service. “ (Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy)
- “The German indie sector is very happy and grateful that Apple has returned to the table, starting a dialogue again and involved our members – the small and middle-sized labels – for making the new Apple Music experience a real game changer for the whole music sector, finally. (Oke Gottlich, Finetunes )
- “Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple. 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 “ (Martin Mills, Beggars Group )
Independent publishers tell us they are still locked in negotiations with Apple over their license, but they too now expect to be paid for the trial period.
MBW has been passed a letter from Merlin CEO Charles Caldas to the commercial group’s 650 members – which include Domino, Beggars/XL, [PIAS] and Cooking Vinyl – explaining its change of heart.
You can read Merlin boss Charles Caldas’s memo to members in full below.
Dear Merlin Member
I am pleased to say that Apple has 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. With these changes, we are happy to support the deal.
As you know Merlin has not historically had a direct contract with Apple. Apple has direct deals with our members, and that continues to be the case. Therefore, the amendments referred to above will apply to your existing direct agreements, and the amended contract will shortly appear on iTunes Connect. However, Apple has indicated that in the future they are open to engaging with Merlin as a central point of communication and negotiation for our membership.
Apple has a long standing, deep rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work. 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.
We would remind you as ever that each member must make its own independent decisions in relation to Apple Music and its business in general.Music Business Worldwide