Apple Music has announced an incentive program to pay artists higher royalty rates for songs made available in Spatial Audio formats like Dolby Atmos and Sony 360. The move aims to spur more music creators to produce songs using immersive audio technologies.
Apple Details Spatial Audio Royalty Bump
As first reported by Music Business Worldwide and confirmed by Apple to multiple news outlets, artists can receive up to 10% higher streaming royalties from Apple Music for songs offered in Spatial Audio compared to standard stereo tracks.
The exact royalty increase will vary based on the type of Spatial Audio encoding used, but Apple documentation viewed by Billboard outlines the following bumps:
- Dolby Atmos – 10% increase
- Sony 360 Reality Audio – 5% increase
Additionally, songs need to meet specific technical criteria set by Apple to qualify, such as inclusion of immersive metadata and stem master deliveries.
This financial incentive aims to further popularize spatial music and drive more creators to release songs using these enveloping audio technologies. Though still an emerging format, music in Spatial Audio is quickly gaining traction across streaming services and devices.
Why Apple Music is Boosting Spatial Audio Royalties
Apple has gone all-in on spatial music, making Spatial Audio central to its audio strategy. The company is trying to drive further adoption amongst both music creators and listeners by financially incentivizing artists to create more immersive mixes.
As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple likely hopes this royalty boost will lead to:
- More songs being made available in Spatial Audio
- Increased engagement with Spatial Audio content on Apple Music
- Further brand differentiation for Apple Music through more advanced audio quality
Essentially, Apple wants people to associate the service with premium, cutting-edge sound. By paying artists more for Spatial Audio tracks, they encourage artists to help realize this vision.
How Much More Money Could Artists Make?
While the exact potential earnings lift isn’t clear, a 10% increase is significant given Apple Music’s scale. With over 100 million subscribers globally, Apple Music drives major streaming income for today’s hitmakers.
Let’s consider an example using realistic numbers:
- Song generates 500,000 Apple Music streams in a month
- 1 stream = $0.004 in royalties
- 500,000 streams x $0.004 per stream = $2,000
- With 10% Spatial Audio bump:
- New royalty rate = $0.0044 per stream
- 500,000 streams x $0.0044 per stream = $2,200
- Extra money earned = $200
So for a mid-tier hit, the difference could amount to thousands in extra royalties annually. This can quickly scale up based on a track’s popularity streamed through Apple Music.
Response from the Music Industry
Music executives, artists and other industry players have responded positively to Apple’s royalty incentive scheme.
They view Apple’s move as a “win-win” that will compensate artists fairly for their work in next-gen formats, while allowing Apple to differentiate Apple Music as services compete heavily.
Music Industry Praise
“It’s the right thing for artists, producers, mixers and the music because it’s going to incentivize doing more and more immersive mixes,” noted Jeff Bronikowski, global head of music creators and business innovation at Apple.
“This is meant to be an incentive for more artists and labels to mix in Spatial Audio, so there is more music available for listeners in Apple Music,” added an Apple Music spokesperson.
So the consensus seems to be overwhelmingly positive, with Spatial Audio incentives supporting artists while providing an enhanced experience for fans.
What Types of Artists Might Benefit the Most?
This new royalty scheme positions Spatial Audio creators to earn more from the growing format. But what specific artists and genres stand to gain from this?
Based on Spatial Audio’s rapid adoption so far, these artists could benefit considerably from the royalty bump:
|Why They Benefit
|Massive built-in streaming fanbases to drive high volumes
|Hip hop & R&B stars
|Pioneering immersive rap mixes and future spatial experiments
|Expertise in layered, spatial sound design suits the format
|Creative incentive for expansive immersive productions
Immersive superstars like The Weeknd and Billie Eilish who tally millions of streams could quickly turn the 10% lift into six figures in extra royalties. Additionally, bold creative artists now have a built-in incentive to develop rich, innovative mixes using Spatial Audio’s added dimensions.
What’s Next for Apple Music and Spatial Audio?
Expect Apple Music’s Spatial Audio catalogue and consumer offerings around the technology to aggressively expand throughout 2024.
The service just eclipsed 100 million songs available in Spatial Audio last November. With the new artist incentives revealed, industry experts predict the immersive mix count could double in 2024.
Additionally, Apple is tipped to announce new Spatial Audio hardware like updated AirPods Pro supporting more robust versions of the technology. Expect Spatial Audio to figure prominently across Apple services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+ and more as Apple rallies behind immersive sound experiences.
So ultimately, Apple is betting big on spatial music defining the future of digital audio. This royalty boost for artists proves they are ready to put major money behind their vision. For artists and fans alike, the expansion of immersive mixes looks set to accelerate even faster thanks to Apple’s incentives.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.