Thousands of indie labels sign on for Apple Music


Adele, who is represented by Beggars Group, performs during the Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 12, 2012. 

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Shortly after Taylor Swift got Apple Inc. to change its mind on royalty payments, thousands of independent record labels have now voiced their support for Apple Music. 

Beggars Group, a consortium of labels representing the likes of Adele, Vampire Weekend and the xx, said Wednesday it now endorses the new Apple Music deal. Merlin Network, which collects digital royalties for 20,000 independent music companies, has also backed the new terms. 

It’s a remarkable reversal from just a few days ago, when labels were criticizing Apple’s plans to not pay royalties during consumers’ free three-month Apple Music trial. The Cupertino-based tech giant changed course Sunday night, just 17 hours after Swift expressed concerns in an open letter and threatened to withhold her album “1989" from the service. 

“Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple,” Beggars Group founder Martin Mills said in a statement. “We are now delighted to say that we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future.”


Apple has said it will pay at least 71.5% of its streaming revenue to right holders when customers pay $9.99 a month for access. During the free trial, it will pay on a per-stream basis, and not based on a percentage of revenue. 

Billboard was first to report the deals with Beggars Group and Merlin. 

“We thank Apple Music for hearing our concerns and for their fair and equitable treatment of the worldwide music creator community,” the American Assn. of Independent Music said in a statement. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder


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