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Christian Eede
29 January 2024, 16:08

Apple Music to pay higher royalties for music in Spatial Audio

Artists will receive a 10% higher royalty fee for spatial audio content

Apple Music to pay higher royalties for music in Spatial Audio

Apple Music has revealed that it is to begin paying artists higher royalties for music made available in Spatial Audio.

As of this month, artists will receive a 10% higher royalty fee for Spatial Audio content that is accessed via the streaming platform. The Spatial Audio format, largely viewed as a surround sound form of accessing audio, was launched on Apple Music in June 2021 at no extra cost to subscribers.

Music Business Worldwide reports that Apple Music said the higher royalties are "not only meant to reward higher quality content, but also to ensure that artists are being compensated for the time and investment they put into mixing in Spatial". Subscribers will therefore not have to listen to the spatial audio tracks on Apple Music in order for artists to receive the higher royalty rate.

It's been speculated by Bloomberg that the move by Apple Music makes business sense to the wider company as it may encourage people to purchase more Apple technology – such as iPhones, iPads and MacBooks – that supports spatial audio.

It may also help Apple Music stand out from its competitors in the music streaming market as Spotify does not current offer access to music in spatial audio. Amazon Music and Tidal do, however.

According to figures shared by Apple Music alongside its announcement of the royalty rate increase, there has been a 5,000% rise in songs made available in spatial audio since the launch of the feature in 2021.

The news comes three months after Spotify confirmed details of its new royalty policy, which will get rid of payments for tracks under 1,000 streams.

In 2023, Apple Music and Maps joined forces to launch a series of city-specific music guides.