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What you need to know

  • Apple has announced a $50 million Royalty Advance Fund for indie labels.
  • The fund will be provided in good faith to provide labels and artists with pay during the pandemic.
  • The music industry has been hit hard by the crisis as concerts, recordings, and albums have been canceled or postponed.

Apple has been bringing forth a number of efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and its latest effort seems to be targeted at the music industry.

As reported by Rolling Stone, the company has sent a letter to independent record labels that it is starting a $50 million Royalty Advance Fund to help the labels and artists weather the crisis.

According to the letter, advances will be made available to labels with a direct Apple Music distribution deal that earn at least $10,000 a quarter through the service. Apple says that advances are being provided "in good faith that labels will channel funds to artists and label operations based on financial need."

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Rolling Stone says that the fund should help those in the industry impacted by the pandemic. The outlet explains that "most musicians rely on live touring revenue, as do venue workers, tour managers, and many other live crew members who are now out of work."

Apple says that it will make agreements for the advances available to labels through iTunes Connect on April 10th. In order to be eligible for the offer, labels must accept the Royalty Advance agreement and be on the latest Apple Music distribution agreement before May 8th.

You can read the full letter from Apple to the labels 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."

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