Apple has not contacted indie publishers about streaming rights yet for its new music service, it emerges. According to Billboard, label heads are now expecting an opt-in contract to be emailed out in bulk, considering the service is set to launch on June 30.
Despite not yet discussing any deals with indie publishers, Apple has already clashed with larger labels over the three-month free trial on offer. The company eventually offered an overall 71.5 percent revenue share (compared with the industry standard of 70 percent) to sweeten the deal. Apple is refusing to pay publishers for music streamed during the free trial and so is offering a higher revenue share in return. Outside the U.S., this number will fluctuate around the 73 percent mark.
Industry insiders say that Apple is offering a headline rate of 13.5 percent revenue to publishers, one part of a multitiered breakdown of overall revenue share. The free trial on offer meant Apple was unable to take advantage of the usual statutory streaming licenses. Under that, music services must send notices of intent to publishers, listing the songs they plan to use, and then use a standard three-tiered formula approved by the Copyright Royalty Board to make payments. The 71.5 percent figure represents one tier in the breakdown, while other tiers will depend on the specific formula in use.