After Apple announced that it would pay artists during Apple Music’s three-month free trials, critics speculated that indie labels and music groups that had held off from endorsing and signing to the new streaming service would jump on board.
Now, the Worldwide Independent Network has backed Apple Music. “We are happy to support and endorse the deal,” Alison Wenham, Chief Executive of WIN said in a statement.
“Over the last few days we have had increasingly fruitful discussions with Apple,” said Martin Mills, the chairman and founder of Beggars Group, which is comprised of 4AD, XL, Matador and Rough Trade, and features artists like Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Adele and FKA Twigs. “We are now delighted to say that we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future.”
Beggars has long been a force against streaming services, and has, until now, backed away from Apple Music. Last week they released a statement saying no agreement had been met.
“Today’s agreement shows Apple’s concern for the issues of the artist and independent label creative community,” said Tom Silverman of Tommy Boy, which reps artists like Ghostface Killah, Gucci Mane and Naughty by Nature. “We look forward to Apple achieving huge and rapid success with its subscription service.”
Billboard also reports that Merlin, a global music rights agency that represents 20,000 labels and distributors, signed a deal with Apple that will put its music on the streaming service in time for its June 30 launch.
According to a letter from Merlin CEO Charles Caldas, obtained by Billboard, the company is “happy to support the deal” based on Apple’s decision to pay artists during the free trial period. “As you know Merlin has not historically had a direct contract with Apple,” the letter says. “Apple has direct deals with our members, and that continues to be the case.”