Reuters/Stephen Lam Apple has now managed to forge deals with the majority of labels following its decision to pay artists during Apple Music’s three months free trial, but one major label is still holding out in a big market.
Universal Music Group has yet to sign a deal with Apple in Australia, Music Business Worldwide reports, and we can expect the negotiations to go to the wire.
Last week it looked like Apple was going to have a rebellion on its hands, as independent labels, music lobbying groups, and Taylor Swift, all hit out at Apple Music’s revenue-free trial period.
In response, Apple SVP Eddy Cue announced on Twitter that the company had reversed its decision and will pay artists even during the customers’ free trial period. Now, indie labels seem to be hashing out deals, and Taylor Swift has said she will be putting her new album, “1989,” on the service.
But another bit of information picked up by MBW could cause a problem for the deals remaining to be signed. The publication reports that the three month trial won’t just be for a fixed period from Apple Music’s launch on June 30th. Each person signing up, at whatever point, will be allowed to try the service for three months for free.
If this turns out to be correct, a trickle of users will continue to sign up over a longer period of time, even though a lot of people will probably sign on to Apple Music immediately after launch, This means that artists won’t be able to wait to release a new album until after the 90-day window, when they’ll start getting paid more than $0.002 per stream to have their music on the platform.
Once the three month trial is over, Apple has said that it is going to give labels, publishers and other music owners in the US 71.5% of the $9.99 a month subscribers pay. Outside the US this could fluctuate, but will average out at around 73%. How much the musicians who wrote the songs will actually get depends on the contracts they have with the music labels and publishers who distribute their songs.
Apple has yet to officially announce pricing for Europe and the rest of the world. But according to MBW sources, the service will cost £9.99 in the UK. This means that it is likely to cost €9.99 across Europe, since Apple seems to be applying a similar pricing model to Spotify, which asks for the same standard subscription in each currency.