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Indie labels cry foul over Apple Music’s enhanced spatial audio royalties

Representation of Apple Music logo
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

As first reported by the Financial Times, independent labels Beggars Group, Secretly Group, and Partisan Records are pushing back against Apple’s preferential payouts for spatial audio. They say independent artists who can’t afford to record in spatial audio would make less because of how streaming music payouts work.

Apple said artists on Apple Music can get bonuses of up to 10 percent for creating music with spatial audio. The company will pay out artists with pro rata shares from a pool of subscription money, calculated using a factor of 1.1, instead of just 1 for non-spatial audio tracks, which will be left to split a smaller remaining portion of the money.

Unnamed music executives told the Financial Times that producing songs in…

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