Lately, there’s been a lot of speculation and suspicion regarding how Apple’s new streaming service would treat indie labels. When Apple was planning on not paying royalties to artists during its three-month free trial period, the Beggars Group — the label group that includes Matador, XL, 4AD, Rough Trade, Young Turks, and others — released a statement critical of Apple’s decision. But then Taylor Swift said more or less the same thing, and Apple immediately caved. That probably ultimately helped Apple’s ability to negotiate with indie labels, since a ton of them, including the Beggars Group, have signed on with the service.
As Billboard reports, Merlin, an indie-label digital-rights organization that represents 20,000 indie labels, has endorsed Apple Music, as has the Worldwide Independent Network. In a statement, WIN Chief Executive Alison Wenham writes, “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.”
Meanwhile, Beggars Group founder Martin Mills says, “Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple. 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.”