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Apple Music Launches $50 Million COVID-19 Royalty Fund For Indie Labels
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to propose a ripple effect of financial woes and future questions for artists, musicians and the music industry altogether, Apple Music is taking major strides to offer a semblance of relief.
On Tuesday, the streaming platform officially announced the launch of a $50 million advance royalty fund, set in place to ensure that independent labels and their artists can continue operating and getting paid during this time.
In a letter issued to various independent labels, obtained by Rolling Stone, the streaming giant wrote "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 statement continues, "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."
According to stipulations, labels with existing distribution deals on the platform who are earning a minimum of $10,000 in Apple Music royalties quarterly are eligible for royalty advances. To receive an advance, labels will need to accept the agreement and be under Apple Music’s latest distribution deal by a May 8, 11:59 p.m. PDT deadline.
In recent events, social distancing and quarantining measures have caused a series of tour and festival cancellations, music release pushbacks and streaming activity has effectively declined. With its new initiative, Apple Music looks to support often overlooked independent artists and labels whose wellbeing doesn’t necessarily depend on the security of major label or industry backing. Advanced royalty payments will help sustain stability for those artists, even while things are rocky.
For more information on how you can directly support musicians and artist communities during the COVID-19 crisis, visit MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund and consider donating here.