Apple pledges $50 million to bail out indie record labels

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Apple Music is preparing for invasion
Apple is ready to help its indie music partners hurt by COVID-19 shutdowns.
Photo: Apple

Apple has created a $50 million advance fund to help independent music labels and distributors pay their artists and keep operations afloat.

The global lockdown in an effort to slow the COVID-19 outbreak has been particularly brutal to independent labels. Music stores, in-person venues and TV/movie productions are all closed, killing sales, licensing income and anticipated revenues from shows now canceled.

Music Business Worldwide, citing unnamed sources, said Apple will doll out one-off advance payments on future royalties to qualifying labels and distributors.

Those eligible must already have a deal in place with Apple Music and meet a minimum quarterly Apple Music earnings amount of $10,000, the website reported.

“Doing the math, that should mean those labels attracting around 500,000 cumulative streams on the platform each month are likely to be eligible for the money,” reporter Tim Ingham wrote. “Apple is apparently telling the indies that it hopes the money will be used to help them pay artists and maintain operations.”

Apple has made a number of contributions in the wake of the pandemic, including a $10 million donation to the One World: Together at Home music benefit organized in part by Lady Gaga.

The tech giant is building 1 million faces shields a week for medical workers and already has donated millions face and ventilators masks to health care workers.

Music Business Worldwide reported the indie music fund has companywide support at Apple.

Source: Music Business Worldwide