Apple to pay slightly above average rates to music rights owners

Peter Kafka, writing at Re/code, confirms the amounts Apple will be paying the music rights owners once the new Apple Music service launches at the end of this month:

In the U.S., Apple will pay music owners 71.5 percent of Apple Music’s subscription revenue. Outside the U.S., the number will fluctuate, but will average around 73 percent, he told Re/code in an interview. Executives at labels Apple is working with confirmed the figures.

The figures were given to Re/code exclusively by Robert Kondrk who works for Apple alongside Eddie Cue in negotiating music deals.

One other detail Re/code’s piece confirms is the rumour that Apple would be paying labels nothing during the three months free trial available to consumers in over one hundred countries come 3oth June.

It seems that Apple’s slightly above average ongoing rate is to cover this shortfall. The implications are still significant though.

Why would an artist risk releasing anything new this summer, during the period when most users are taking out the Apple Music trial, and suffer making nothing during the prime period their album or song is likely to make money?

Perhaps we can expect a quiet summer of musical releases until most users have finished the trial.

That said, as Kontra pointed out on Twitter, we don’t know for sure what will or won’t be included in the Apple Music catalogue during the free trial period. There’s a chance new releases, for example, might be exluded and kept as solely available for purchase.

Still lot’s of unknowns.

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