Apple Music is helping independent record labels during the coronavirus crisis by launching a $50 million advanced royalty fund to ensure artists are paid. Indie labels are eligible to receive advances if they earned a minimum of $10,000 in quarterly Apple Music revenue. They must also have a direct distribution deal with Apple Music.
“These are difficult times for the music industry globally,” reads an Apple Music letter obtained by Rolling Stone. “Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.”
Musicians have been forced to cancel or postpone live shows in light of the global coronavirus pandemic, leaving many without a primary source of income. Additionally, a large number of recording studios are currently nonoperational as they are not considered an essential business. And with artists pushing back release dates for new albums, music streaming is down as well.
You can read Apple Music's letter to independent record labels in its entirety below.
These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help."
Today Apple Music is announcing the creation of a $50 million-plus fund available as advances on future royalties to independent labels, to help them pay artists and maintain operations.
Royalty advances will be offered to independent labels with a direct Apple Music distribution deal who meet a minimum quarterly threshold of $10,000 in Apple Music earnings. Each advance will be based on the label’s past earnings, and will be recoupable against the label’s future earnings. This offer is in good faith that labels will channel funds to artists and label operations based on financial need.
Label agreements for the advances will be posted in iTunes Connect, in the Agreements, Tax, and Banking module, on April 10. To receive an advance you will need to accept the Royalty Advance agreement and be on the latest Apple Music distribution agreement before May 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.