Apple Music has set up a USD 50 million fund to help musicians struggling in the face of Covid-19. The company has sent an email to indie labels, telling them that it has set up a the advance royalty fund to help them pay their artists.
The company wrote in its email, “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.”
The independent music labels that are eligible for the royalty advances by Apple Music are the ones that earn at least USD 10,000 every quarter from the streaming platform, and have a direct distribution deal with the service. The amount given will depend on a label’s past earnings. Apple also mentioned that the company will offer the labels the advance in good faith that they’ll use the money to help their struggling artists and fund their operations in order to stay afloat.
This initiative from Apple Music derived from the news that those working in the music industry are now facing financial disaster due to Covid-19, as tours and concerts canceled. Music data company Viberate also revealed that over 300 festivals have already announced cancellations or postponements.
“I think people often only see the glamorous side of the music business, forgetting that musicians, studios and engineers usually live at the bottom of the supply chain, and are often living hand-to-mouth with not much in the way of savings,” says Olga Fitzroy, executive director of the Music Producers Guild.
Besides Apple Music, other companies have come to the aid of musicians and industry workers. Amazon Music, Facebook, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube Music pledged to contribute to MusiCare’s COVID-19 relief fund. Spotify made it easy to donate to artists and vowed to match up to USD 10 million in donations, and SoundCloud and Bandsintown are helping artists earn money from their online concerts via Twitch.