For the survival of independent music labels in these uncertain times due to COVID-19 pandemic, Apple has created a $50 million fund as future royalties for small music producers, so that they can pay artists and continue operations.
“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.”- Apple Music Team
In an email sent by Apple Music’s team to record labels, the requirements for approval are that the label must be a signatory of Apple Music distribution deal and has minimum earnings of $10,000 quarterly. The amount of the royalty advance will be decided based on the label’s previous earnings and will be subjected to deduction from the label’s future earnings. The agreements will be posted to iTunes Connect by 10th April. A label must be on the latest Apple Music distribution agreement before May 8 by 11:59 p.m. PT to avail the royalty advance.
The music industry has been hit hard by the prevailing health crisis and all kinds of music related activities and events have been cancelled for an uncertain time. The precautionary measures of social distancing and isolation have destabilized the very foundations on which the music industry thrives: mass gatherings for concerts and artist tours. With that, unemployment has risen as associated jobs have also disappeared like stage and crowd management, lights and sounds, dancers, and others.
Apple’s decision to help record labels, so that more people do not lose their source of income at a time when music streaming industry is witnessing a decline, is the goodwill gesture the world needs from big companies. Apple is playing its productive part: producing face shields for doctors and nurses, built at home digital COVID-19 screening tools, and live streaming of One World virtual concert.
We all wish and pray for good health and survival for all in coronavirus outbreak. We hope that we all emerge as one global community supporting and protecting each other, in this testing time and afterwards.
Story via Rolling Stones