Apple Music has quietly begun to put together a $50 million advance relief fund for indie record labels amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will allow indie labels to ensure their signed artists get paid.
According to a report from Rolling Stone, a memo was sent out to indie labels told the news about the new relief fund. Rolling Stone obtained the memo and discovered that labels who earned at least $10,000 per quarter qualified for the royalty advancement. The only other stipulation was that the label must have a direct distribution deal with Apple Music.
The indie music scene has been dealt significant blows throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. With live shows and music festivals cancelled, many labels have seen a decrease in revenue. The memo in question touched on this by reassuring the indie labels by saying: “Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.”
With limited access to recording studios, many artists have also been impacted by the outbreak. It has snowballed into artists delaying release dates for their albums and a decrease in music streaming.
In addition to the royalty advance, Apple is also assisting in airing the Global Citizen and the World Health Organization’s One World: Together at Home performance broadcast. Airing on April 18th, musicians such as Alanis Morissette, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Elton John will perform for an online audience.