Open Letter To Apple & Apple Music:
That’s right Apple Music, time to listen up from the trenches.
Do the right thing.
Dear Apple & Apple Music,
I’ve been using your products for a long time. I’ve enjoyed every computer, iPhone, and iPad that I have had in my possession. I’ve defended your business on many an occasion whether it be on price or about your software. In doing so, I’m quite sure that I have helped your business grow to the behemoth that it is now – the richest corporation in the world.
I have purchased and I still purchase your products to create the music I put into the world. I respect your business and it should be compensated appropriately – even when you purchase a company I had an endorsement with (Emagic) and you in-turn disband their endorsements. I still buy those products I use to create the music you need for your service.
I was excited when I helped CD Baby create the path for artists to be a part of iTunes. Which I saw as a way to level the playing field between those signed on major labels and those who opted to avoid them.
However, the recent news of your Apple Music streaming service has me befuddled.
How can the richest corporation that once heralded the arts and their creators, especially music, now drive a stake through our hearts? Seriously. Apple & Apple Music, asking those of us without major label deals to forego royalties for 3 months is OUTRAGEOUS. Its reprehensible. To put it mildly its thievery. The humor is Taylor Swift, an artist who could actually weather this type of “lull” in her income, has also stood up in solidarity about this injustice.
Mind you Apple & Apple Music, I’m a massive proponent for streaming. Its where music is going, I fully understand it and welcome it with open arms. But what I do not understand, is how you can place such a burden on the very people that create the content you need to make your streaming business actually work. At least Spotify pays on their “freemium” model, and pays quite well.
Apple, Apple Music, or more directly Tim Cook/Eddie Cue, unless you’re going to start giving me computers, iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches for free 3 month trials and subsequent lower payment rates – I see no plausible reason why I, or any of my colleagues, should give you the labors of hard work to promote your business for free. That’s bad business. Its bad enough that you won’t allow non-signed artists to get promotion on the iTunes store [nor likely in Apple Music either]. Its bad enough that you won’t allow us to sign our own small labels directly with you (forcing us to use 3rd parties to distribute our catalogs to you at additional cost to us and introducing more middle men into the system). Treating us like 3rd world citizens despite the fact that non-signed music represents more than ⅔ of your catalog over the major labels is, what I call, classism at the expense of art.
This is what I [and I’m sure many of my fellow musicians who do believe in streaming] would ask of you: Think Different and Do The Right Thing Apple Music.
What is “Do The Right Thing Apple Music” you might ask?
Simple: Pay us our paltry royalty for every stream regardless of the 3 month trials you’re offering. Hell, right now you’re getting a discounted royalty rate as it is; as has been set by Congress. Paying us (writers, publishers, producers, artists) out of the billions in your hoard of cash reserves should not be a problem for you. While at the same time it will prove to your customers that you have a service worth paying for because our musical art is there and properly compensated.