It seems as though Apple’s new music streaming service, Apple Music, has experienced a lot of controversy lately. By reportedly threatening several artists with extreme consequences if they did not oblige to the streaming service’s contract, Apple Music has created tension in the music industry. Just last week, Anton Newcombe, the frontman for Brian Jonestown Massacre, expressed his frustration with Apple on Twitter, as he claimed that the corporation threatened to remove all of his band’s music if they would not comply with the free three-month trial. Agreeing with the Apple Music contract would mean that all artists do not receive any royalty payments for that time period. Apparently, this is specifically affecting Indie artists, and is not as much of an issue for those in mainstream music. Newcombe mentioned how Apple representatives played “hard ball” with his band, yet when Taylor Swift disagreed with this arrangement, Apple decided to change the contracts. Although we give a big thanks to Taylor Swift for sticking up for Indie artists’ rights, Apple is still continuously receiving large amounts of backlash for this prejudice. It is obvious that the Apple Corporation values the opinion of mainstream artists much more so than niche/independent artists. However, Tracy Maddux, CEO of CD Baby, is touching on why Apple Music will be extremely beneficial for Indie artists, despite the recent criticisms.
Maddux is renown for helping independent musicians get their work on platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and in the close future, Apple Music. He has become incredibly outspoken about the success that these artists could have with Apple Music, as he explains that although it is a streaming service, it is completely unique from its competitors. Because Apple Music is about create a “huge infusion of music engagement,” due to the fact that Apple has such a large client base, indie artists will greatly profit.
Here’s why: according to Maddux the profits will develop from “Artist connection and listener experiences. Both factors promise to bolster a lively, multifaceted musical ecology unlike any that existed under the previous system.” Apple is creating a platform that is focusing on the artist and the fan.
By working with Apple, indie artists will be working with the best. 800 million people, who are not paid subscribers to Pandora or Spotify, have given their credit cards to iTunes. Because the trial period is limited to three months, Maddux believes that the decrease in royalty payment will in the long run, be well worth it. The period eliminates users that are taking advantage of the free music, which will then prove to sustain the loyal customers. Both Apple Music and artists will have to suffer from low payments in the begin terms of the streaming service, but that is the cost of creating a new platform. It is Maddux’s belief that because Apple Music will be so incredibly big worldwide, there will be more than enough room for the indie artists to succeed.