Apple Music adds 20,000 indie labels by signing Beggars Group and Merlin


Apple Music is a music service like no other.
Photo: Apple

Indie musicians haven’t been too keen on Apple’s music streaming service that originally planned to cut them out of a paycheck for three months. Now that Taylor Swift has won her battle against Apple Music, thousands of indie artists are changing their tune toward the upcoming service.

Beggars Group and Merlin, which represent over 20,000 labels and distributors worldwide, have officially signed on at the last minute to be included in Apple Music when it launches next month, reports Billboard.

Adele, Radiohead, Prodigy, Arcade Fire and many other popular indies have been part of Beggars at one point in their careers. Merlin, which launched in 2008, represents 20,000 labels and distributors worldwide with offices in London and New York, and a head office in Amsterdam.

After inking the deal with Apple Music, Merlin CEO Charles Caldas sent members the following letter:

“I am pleased to say that Apple has made a decision to pay for all usage of Apple Music under the free trials on a per-play basis, as well as to modify a number of other terms that members had been communicating directly with Apple about. With these changes, we are happy to support the deal.”

Beggar, which has four imprints — 4AD, XL, Matador and Rough Trade — has firmly opposed Apple’s offer until now. Martin Mills who built the Beggars Group from the ground up previously told reporters Apple Music’s free trial aspect doesn’t move the industry away from freemium services, and instead only takes “the ‘mium’ out of freemium.” However, in a statement on the company’s website, Mills has done a complete 180, saying “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.”


Source: Billboard