Worldwide Independent Network Endorses Apple Music

Jimmy Iovine
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images 

Jimmy Iovine speaks during the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California on June 8, 2015.

Apple Music is on a roll. The tech giant’s recently announced streaming music service, Apple Music, has now been endorsed by the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), an organization that represents the interests of the global independent music community.

The development comes just hours after Billboard exclusively revealed Apple Music had struck licensing deals with Merlin, the independents' rights agency, and Martin Mills’ Beggars Group.

For Apple Music, three key deals in a matter of hours means that the PR disaster that was unfolding last week now seems like a distant memory. A slew of artists, labels and independent lobby groups had openly rejected Apple’s licensing conditions due to the hardware titan’s controversial decision to not pay royalties during a three-month free trial offered to Apple Music users.

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Taylor Swift crystallized the indie sector's concerns in an open letter in which she asked Apple to back-down on its policy. Which it did. Now it would appear the licensing floodgates have burst open.

“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,” comments Alison Wenham, CEO of WIN, in a statement issued early June 24. “With these changes,” she notes, “we are happy to support and endorse the deal. Apple has a long-standing, deep-rooted relationship with the music community and has always helped ensure artists get paid for their work.”

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WIN was created in 2006 in response to business, creative and market access issues faced globally by the independent music business.

With WIN’s endorsement and support from Merlin and Beggars, the signs are looking good that the service will get over the line before its scheduled launch at month’s end. 

“We think Apple Music provides artists with a business model that’s good for the long-term and we look forward to its launch on June 30,” Wenham adds.