Image for Indie Labels Now On Board With Apple MusicImage: YouTube / Apple

Indie Labels Now On Board With Apple Music

Written by Sam Murphy on June 25, 2015

Two of the largest indie music groups have signed on to Apple Music following a backflip on their policy not to pay royalties during their three month free subscription period.

Adele, Vampire Weekend and Radiohead among others will now be available on the streaming service after their representing companies Beggars Group and Merlin announced that they had reached an agreement with the tech giant.

Beggars Group looks after licensing for four labels – 4AD, XL, Matador and Rough Trade – while Merlin represents 20,000 labels worldwide.

“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,” Beggars Group said in a statement.

It’s a distinctively different tone to the statement they issued last week stating that they were “very concerned” about Apple’s three month royalty-free model and had not been able to reach a deal.

Meanwhile, as Billboard reports, Merlin CEO Charles Cadas sent a letter to its members that read, “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.”

Taylor Swift has been credited as one of the key forces behind Apple’s change-of-mind after she wrote the company an open-letter saying she was “shocked” and “disappointed.”

Soon after she published the post, Apple announced that it would reverse it’s initial decision and will be paying rights-holders during its free trial. While Apple has not said how much it will be paying, Digital Music News claiming the rate will be a measly $0.002 per stream. The Wall Street Journal has also reported that rates will rise once the trial ends.

The Apple Music app will be available to download on Apple devices from 30 June. Australian pricing models are still yet to be announced.

Pharrell’s new single Freedom will be the first track to be released exclusively to Apple Music on 30 June, as announced by the singer himself on Twitter.

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