The COVID-19 pandemic has birthed a myriad of responses from major actors in the music industry.
Spotify announced $10m in an emergency fund for struggling musicians last week, operating via a matched donation system. (Source)
This week, Apple Music announced their own relief fund. However, it comes with a very interesting caveat.
The streaming company has decided to work directly with labels, in lieu of artists.
They’ve announced a $50m- plus fund (an advance royalty payment) for indie labels.
The news came through a letter sent to labels, which was published by Rolling Stone here.
Indie labels who generate $10,000 quarterly ($40,000 per annum) and have a direct distribution deal with Apple Music qualify for the fund.
How much of an advance the label receives will depend on the label’s past earnings.
Apple expects labels to be aware that “this offer is in good faith that labels will channel funds to artists and label operations based on financial need.”
The idea of helping out indie labels is certainly noble, although $40,000 per year to qualify seems like a very high threshold given the relatively low value of a stream.