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Indie record labels rebel against Apple Music contracts

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Ahead of its big reveal, Apple Music was apparently racing to get record labels onboard. Now, with the service officially set to launch later this month, Cupertino is still struggling to win over some artists.

The Telegraph reports that a number of popular independent British record labels refuse to sign-up with Apple Music. The main issue is Apple’s three-month free trial period, during which time those artists won’t see a single cent of streaming revenue. As a result singer/songwriter Adele and British rock band The Arctic Monkeys, among others, could be missing at launch.

“If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business,” said Andy Heath, the chairman of lobbying organization UK Music. “Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.”

He noted that Spotify pays for every stream, even if it’s free for the listener. For a smaller record label running on tight margins, those three months of free Apple Music streaming could “put people out of business.”

The Telegraph notes that two record label execs also expressed similar concerns, though they wouldn’t be identified since negotiations with Apple are still ongoing. Apple Music is set to launch on June 30, leaving the company a little under two weeks to iron out the rest of these deals.

The Telegraph

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...


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