Apple Music Launches $50 Million Advance Royalty Fund to Make Sure Independent Labels Can Pay Artists

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Apple Music today told independent record labels that it is launching a $50 million advance royalty fund to make sure that artists get paid amid the ongoing pandemic.


In letters sent out to record labels that were seen and shared by Rolling Stone, Apple said that livelihoods are at risk and that it “wants to help.”

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.

We hope that together we can help provide stability for artists by sustaining an enduring and vibrant music sector. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Independent record labels that earn at least $10,000 in quarterly ‌Apple Music‌ earnings will qualify for royalty advances, and a direct ‌Apple Music‌ distribution deal is required.

According to Rolling Stone, the music industry has been struggling in recent months, as live music has been put on hold and many concert tours and major music festivals have been postponed or canceled. Music streaming is also down and artists are pushing back release dates for albums.

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