royalties

If a leaked royalties report posted by a musician’s blog is genuine, Beats Music subscribers certainly played no part in Apple’s presumed decision to acquire the company. The report appears to indicate that the service paid first quarter royalties to musicians based on total subscriber numbers of just 110,992.

As Business Insider notes, there are a couple of complications that make it hard to determine the actual number of paid subscribers. First, the majority of subscriptions are family packages, where a single payment of $14.99 a month allows up to five users to access the service. The total number of users will thus be higher than the raw subscription figures.

Against this, however, a promotion by AT&T offering free 90-day subscriptions mean that many of those appearing in the subscriber numbers may have paid nothing.

Either way, the numbers are irrelevant to Apple. With the headphone business bringing in $1B a year, Apple appears to have bought itself a well-respected streaming music technology, unrivalled music industry expertise and contacts, and a highly successful marketing team, for a bargain price.