Indies Not Tempted By Apple

Apple is being accused of trying to launch its new streaming rival to Spotify in a way that would leave the independent record companies “completely screwed.”


Apple is said to be demanding that even the larger indie labels such as XL Recordings (Arctic Monkeys) and Domino (Adele) agree to being trialed by the new service for three months, during which time they’ll receive no payment. Apple Music could now face the massive withdrawal of a large group of indie acts, including some of the sector’s largest acts such as AdeleThe NationalAlabama Shakes, and Radiohead, already a vocal opponent of streaming royalty payments.

According to Digital Music News, more than four separate sources – including a couple of well-known independent labels – said most artists will keep their catalogs available for traditional download on the iTunes Store, but will opt out of the streaming aspects.

UK Music chairman Andy Heath told the Daily Telegraph that he didn’t know of any British independent labels that had agreed to Apple’s terms or intended to. He said the American giant’s approach could literally put smaller indie 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,” he said. “Their plan is clearly to move people over from downloads, which is fine, but it will mean us losing revenues for three months.” AIM, the association for independent music, has released a statement saying it’s not satisfied that the deal being offered is fair or equitable to independent music companies.