Apple denies claims that it’s threatening artists to force Apple Music deals

Apple Music all devices teaser 001

Apple denies claims made by some artists that it’s threatening to remove their songs from iTunes if they don’t sign up for Apple Music, reports Rolling Stone. A company spokesperson told the outlet that music “will not be taken off” as a result of license negotiations.

The controversy arose earlier this week when Anton Newcombe of psychedelic rock group Brian Jonestown Massacre took to Twitter to complain about Apple and its bullying tactics. “I said what if I say no, and they said we’ll take your music off itunes. hard ball?”

Newcombe claims that Apple asked his band to let them stream their music for 3 months royalty-free—likely to cover the free 3 month trial they’re offering users. “The biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for 3 months and pay me nothing.”

Apple’s public denial of Newcombe’s claim hasn’t silenced the musician. He’s spent the last 72 hours retweeting articles and user responses regarding his tweet storm, which is getting significant coverage from a number of music industry publications around the world.

The animosity here isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Royalties have long been a major point of contention between artists and streaming music companies, evidenced by a long list of Pandora lawsuits and Taylor Swift’s high profile dispute with Spotify last November.

Apple Music launches at the end of the month. Following the free 3-month trial period, users will have to pay $10 per month (or $15 for a family plan). Apple will give content owners a 71.5% cut of the subscription revenue in the US, and slightly more than that abroad.

Source: Rolling Stone