Update: As we suspected, this appears to be a misunderstanding on Newcombe’s part. An Apple spokesperson told Rolling Stone that it is not threatening to remove music from its iTunes store if artists don’t agree to it’s streaming terms.
Anton Newcombe, frontman for Brian Jonestown Massacre, has posted a series of tweets attacking the fact that Apple is paying nothing to artists for streaming their music on Apple Music during the three-month free trial. His tweets claim that Apple told him that his music would be pulled from iTunes if he didn’t agree to the company’s terms for the streaming service.
[tweet https://twitter.com/antonnewcombe/status/611124094227087360 align=’center’]
The fact that Newcombe references a fake Twitter account in one of the tweets suggests that he may not have done due diligence on whatever was actually said to him. A misunderstanding may be more likely than a genuine threat to remove music from iTunes – especially as we already know that Apple won’t be streaming the entire iTunes library.
However, his comments that “the biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for 3 months and pay me nothing” and “Apple has more cash reserves than all of these nations yet they want to use my work for free” do reflect views expressed elsewhere in the music industry …
British music industry lobby group UK Music said earlier this week that the lack of payment for the free-trial period could leave indie labels “completely screwed” as they see fewer downloads during the three-month trial. Billboard reported that music bodies in other countries have also expressed similar concern.
Australia’s independent music companies trade body AIR voiced its concerns over the royalty-free arrangement and told its members it wouldn’t endorse the contract on offer. The trade body also noted “many of our members have already expressed very real concerns about the consequences” of signing on the dotted line. U.S. indies body A2IM issued an alert last week to its own membership in which it noted iTunes download royalties could be cannibalized by Apple Music and it urged members to “not feel rushed to sign Apple’s current offer.”
It has also been reported that Taylor Swift, who famously pulled all her content from Spotify, will not allow Apple Music to stream her best-selling album ‘1989’ (though her back-catalog will be available).
Apple Music launches on 30th June via an all-new Music app, individual monthly subscriptions priced at $9.99 in the U.S., €9.99 in Eurozone countries and £9.99 in the UK – lower prices applying in some other markets.