Clickbait Article Publishes Incorrect Figures about How Much Apple Music is Paying Record Labels

Digital Music News, known for its not-quite-precise reporting about the digital music industry, ran a nice clickbait article yesterday, Apple Is Paying Just 58% of Streaming Royalties Back to Indie Artists…. This article was picked up later by a number of Apple-related and tech websites. But Digital Music News was wrong; and now they admit it, sort of.

It all begins with a contract they got a hold of. This contract stated that, per $10 account, Apple would be paying out $5.80 to record labels. But, as several commenters pointed out, this does not take into account publishing royalties, paid to composers and songwriters, which are paid separately from performance rights. These publishing royalties, which come to around 12%, added to that 58%, equal – oh, what a surprise!!! – 70%, the industry standard rate for payouts to musicians and composers combined.

Digital Music News did publish a correction, after the first paragraph of the article:

Digital music news 58

But didn’t change their clickbait headline. Sigh.