With the launch of Apple Music exactly two weeks away (set to launch on June 30), indie music publishers say that they have had no contact from the company seeking licenses, leading many in the music publishing community to suspect that the Cupertino, Ca. giant will send a bulk email to publishers with an opt-in contract attached.
According to music industry executives in-the-know, Apple will offer publishers a headline rate of 13.5 percent of revenue (first reported by Re/code), which is higher than the 12 percent it pays publishers for its locker interactive streaming service, as well as the 10 percent it pays publishers for its iTunes Radio service. Industry sources tell Billboard that Apple is offering this higher rate to sell indie publishers on its plan to hold off royalty payments until after its the three-month trial period to consumers. The controversial trial period is already causing considerable turmoil among indie labels; it will be interesting to see how indie publishers react.