A host of indie artists today said they're signing on to Apple's upcoming streaming music service, days after Apple Inc. said it would pay royalties to artists during Apple Music's three month free trial, which was spurred by an letter written by Taylor Swift.
"With these changes, we are happy to support the deal," Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin, a global digital rights agency that represents over 20,000 labels worldwide, said in a letter to the company's members obtained by Billboard.
Apple's new streaming service, which was due to launch on June 30, was heavily criticized for not paying musicians and producers during the 90 day trial. Last week, Beggars Group, a company comprised of four independent labels that feature artists like Adele, Vampire Weekend, Radiohead and The Stokes, published a blog post on its site expressing its opposition to certain Apple Music terms. However, with Apple's change of heart, Beggars has signed on board as well.
"Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple," Martin Mills, CEO of Beggars Group, said in a statement released on the site. "We are now delighted to say we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being part of a very exciting future."
Furthermore, the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), a representative for the interests of the professional independent music industry, has also come out in support of Apple Music.
"Apple has a long standing, deep rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work," Chief Executive of WIN Alison Wenham said in a statement that also included comments from the heads of labels like Tommy Boy, Secretly Group and Finetunes. "We think Apple Music provides artists with a business model that's good for the long term and we look forward to its launch on June 30."
Darius Van Arman of Secretly Group and Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy note in their statements released through WIN that Apple's decision is indicative of its receptiveness to artists' concerns and its commitment to the fair treatment of creators.
Following the conclusion of the three-month free trial, Apple Music plans for individuals are $9.99 a month and family plans are $14.99.