The chairman of the British music industry lobby group UK Music says that independent labels may not agree to Apple’s terms for inclusion on Apple Music. Andy Heath told the Telegraph that receiving no payment during the free trial period could leave indies, which include big-name artists like Adele and the Arctic Monkeys, “completely screwed.”
Heath said that while Apple’s argument is that it will pay slightly more once the free trial is over, smaller labels may be concerned that they will see fewer download sales during the free trial – and that this could put smaller companies out of business.
If you are running a small label on tight margins you literally can’t afford to do this free trial business. Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing those revenues for three months.
While this argument wouldn’t apply to big-name artists signed to indie labels, some of them have in the past taken a stand against terms they consider unfair, such as the low payments from Spotify’s free members. Adele famously refused to allow her hit album 21 to appear on Spotify until long after its release …