(CelebrityAccess) – Apple Music has announced a $50m advance fund for independent labels and distributors, to help support the indie sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a letter sent to the labels Tuesday (April 7), independent labels that earn at least $10,000 in quarterly Apple Music earnings will qualify for the royalty advances. To qualify, the indie labels must have a direct Apple Music distribution deal.
The music industry at large has been hit extremely hard by the ongoing global health crisis. Record labels all over the world are struggling to combat sweeping concert and festival cancelations and venue closures, which have resulted in reduced income from public performances, downed physical sales and reduced sync opportunities due to movie and television productions having come to a sudden halt. Music streaming is also down, and artists are being forced to push back release dates for upcoming albums almost every day.
The tech giant is the latest in a growing list of industry players to offer financial relief amid the pandemic. The Recording Academy recently announced a $2 million COVID-19 Relief Fund through its non-profit arm MusiCares, while Live Nation has committed $10 million to its relief fund Crew Nation to assist live workers currently out of a job. Additionally, Apple has announced that it will be donating $10m to the ‘One World: Together at Home’ benefit, a COVID-19 fundraiser organized by Global Citizen and the World Health Organization in collaboration with Lady Gaga.
You can read the letter in full below:
These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.
Today Apple Music is announcing the creation of a $50 million-plus fund available as advances on future royalties to independent labels, to help them pay artists and maintain operations.
Royalty advances will be offered to independent labels with a direct Apple Music distribution deal who meet a minimum quarterly threshold of $10,000 in Apple Music earnings. Each advance will be based on the label’s past earnings, and will be recoupable against the label’s future earnings. This offer is in good faith that labels will channel funds to artists and label operations based on financial need.
Label agreements for the advances will be posted in iTunes Connect, in the Agreements, Tax, and Banking module, on April 10. To receive an advance you will need to accept the Royalty Advance agreement and be on the latest Apple Music distribution agreement before May 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
We hope that together we can help provide stability for artists by sustaining an enduring and vibrant music sector. If you have additional questions, please contact us.
Thank you and stay safe,
The Apple Music Team