Will Apple Music be another killer app, or a soul crushing/artist disparaging streaming network?
So Apple is entering the streaming music business to counter act the loss of revenue from downloads on iTunes. Great. But if they follow the lead of companies like Spotify by not paying the artists fair use royalties, they can kiss the model goodbye. Sure Apple is going to be successful in most any online/business segment they take on, with their dominance in the mobile market. But if they don’t support the indie musicians, fuck them. Yes, I said it.
Digital Music News leaked the initial Apple Music contract breakdown: Apple Is Paying Just 58% of Streaming Royalties Back to Indie Artists… Yeah, fine, that sounds like a pretty good rate. With Spotify doing about .005%, if Apple is doing 100X that rate, cool. We’ll see how it shakes out.
If Apple gets it right, however, by supporting the musicans, they may have a segment killer. Pandora, Spotify, and SoundCloud are on notice. Perhaps this could be a good thing for musicians. Unlike the iTunes deal that started the slide of major labels into insolvency. Something has got to change. Musicians, even established acts, are making almost no money on the streaming services. And kids are no longer buying music. They are just streaming it.
I’m hopeful but weary of my favorite company coming in and making things worse, not better.
Can Apple Music get it right? The announcement at WWDC on Monday sure had a lot of musicians seemingly supporting and crowing about the new Beats One Radio. Trent Reznor is no fan of streaming services, and yet he was one of the spokesmen about how Beats Radio and Apple Music will be different.
We can hope.
Apple Please: Play Music Differently. Play Music Better. Play Music Fairly.