Apple Music Inks Deals with Beggars Group
With Taylor Swift presumably serving as witness.
Just a few days after Taylor Swift convinced Apple that it should pay the artists whose music it distributes via Apple Music, indie conglomerate Beggars Group—which comprises 4AD, XL, Matador, and Rough Trade—has reportedly signed with the tech company. Merlin, a digital-rights organization that represents over 20,000 labels and distributors, also resigned their protest and signed on.
This seems to mark the end of a long and very public standoff between the indies and the world’s most valuable company. Though Beggars boss Martin Mills (who memorably accused Apple of “taking the mium out of freemium”) generated plenty of pressure on his own, Taylor Swift‘s open letter was, as a Billboard source posits, instrumental in turning the tide. “The optics don’t look good if Apple backs down to indie labels,” the source says. “But if they back down to an artist like Taylor Swift, it shows they are sensitive to artist concerns, unlike Spotify, who blew Taylor Swift off when she complained about the free tier.”
Apple Music, which you no longer have to feel guilty about using but which may still be very boring, launches June 30.