Apple to front $50M to cash-strapped indie music biz

Only labels and distributors generating at least $10,000 a quarter on Apple Music need apply.

From Music Business World’s  “Apple launches $50m advance fund for independent labels hit by COVID-19 impact“:

This is big. MBW has learned that Apple Music is quietly making a $50m advance fund available for independent labels and distributors, to support the indie sector with vital cashflow during the uncertainty of global COVID-19 lockdown…

The company is set to inform independent labels and distributors later today (April 7) that any amongst their ranks who meet a minimum quarterly threshold of $10,000 in Apple Music earnings can qualify for one-off advance payments on future royalties out of the $50m fund. (Doing the math, that should mean those labels attracting around 500,000 cumulative streams on the platform each month are likely to be eligible for the money.)

Qualifying indie labels and/or distributors must have a direct distribution deal in place with Apple Music. This rules out indie labels who are distributed by major record companies (including those that go through The Orchard, ADA and Caroline) but means, for example, that a swathe of labels who are members of Merlin will be entitled to apply.

And in further good news for record labels and artists, MBW’s sources suggest that Apple Music’s global subscriber numbers continued to grow month-on-month in March, despite streaming volumes on all audio services dipping amid stay-at-home directions from international governments.

My take: Apple subscriber numbers are growing even as streaming volumes dip? News to me.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    I’m going to be really interested in seeing how Services and Wearables do in comparison to Hardware for the March quarter.

    April 7, 2020
    • Jerry Doyle said:
      @Gregg Thurman: While thinking about Apple’s upcoming quarterly report a little bird landed outside my window a while ago. The little fellow chirped away getting my attention to stop and listen. I swear his chirps sounded like he was singing “The Anchor Holds.” Cool -:)

      April 7, 2020

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