Electronic Musician, Drummer, Sound Designer and Technologist
Thoughts on Apple Music

Apple recently announced Apple Music, yet another streaming music service, which costs $10 a month and will give you “All the music in the world”.

Well, not ALL  of it, since Taylor Swift called them out on their bullshit. What bullshit, you ask? Turns out, Apple was planning on not paying artists with their music on the service for the first three months of its release, which is slated for June 30th.  They planned on launching the service in free trial mode, to get people sucked in, and not paying ANYONE whose music was streamed during that time.

Sounds like Apple is backpedaling now, saying they will pay artists during the free trial. It took Taylor Swift calling them out, as she has done with other streaming services. I hope that she still doesn’t put her music onto their network.

Most people think I hate Apple. Well, yeah, I pretty much do.  I don’t care for their business, marketing, many of their entitled customers, or their shitty view of what “art” is when it comes to their making billions of dollars off artists.

I think that musicians have been bilked into this grandiose idea that a corporation cares about their careers, that for any reason Apple would really care if you succeed as a musician – they don’t care about that, they care about if you are ok with being a commodity for their services. You are the product, and you are sold for very little.

I think it’s absolutely disgusting to see Apple acting like they “care” about musicians by having some “bedroom musician” in their Apple music announcement, and talking up itunes connect as if it’s some kind of game-changer. The only possible way this ends up well for musicians is for those that work with iOS developers to get their music into libraries for usage in iOS apps and the like – and even then, the royalties are garbage.  If Apple, Tidal, or anyone else, wanted to REALLY change the music industry, they would empower artists by offering them a revenue share of the traffic they drive to their artist pages beyond the $0.002 they get from a stream. Tidal says it is “artist owned”, but doesn’t offer up anything for indie artists to be a part-owner. If it did, artists would put their music up there, and only there, and push traffic to that service, earning the service revenue, and the artist, with a proper revenue share.

But instead, Apple acts as if it’s doing us all a favor by buying out Camel audio, coughing some plugins into Garageband, and making itunes Connect a service that you can opt into to “send your fans updates”. I’ve already got a way of doing that – it’s called the Internet, and my fans don’t have to use a janky Apple service to get those updates.  The only musicians that have made any money from Apple music are Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor.

A music collection will always be a physical representation of that music that you love. A digital download is not a music collection.  You may think it is, and you may pride yourself on having millions of songs, but you own NOTHING if you stream everything.  Lose your internet connection? No music. Stop paying for that service? No music.  And who gets screwed? The artists.

Apple says that they want to support Indies, that they care about creating a “network” for musicians to share their music with their fans – yet they, just like every other streaming service, make all the money they need on the backs of those artists that tell their fans to listen to their music on that service.

Stand up for yourself, and NEVER believe that any corporation has any reason to care about you or the music you make.  None of them care about you -NONE of them. You are on your own to create a network of fans who care about what you do, by your caring about them.



Leave a Reply