Apple is offering independent music labels US$0.0013 every time a song is played and 15 percent of advertising revenue if they sign contracts for its iTunes Radio music streaming service. The deal would give independent labels a better deal than they currently have through Pandora, and Apple's offer gets even better if they stick around for a second year.
Apple beats Pandora streaming deals for Indie record labels
Second year deals include $0.014 per play and 19 percent of ad revenue. In comparison, Pandora gives record labels $0.0012 per play on its music streaming service.
As part of the deal, Apple won't have to pay royalties on some songs that are already in user's iTunes libraries, according to the Wall Street Journal, or for some songs that are in partial albums user's already own. Apple also won't have to pay royalties on tracks where listeners skip before hitting the 20 second mark, and tracks played as part of special promotions are royalty-free, too.
iTunes Radio is Apple's own online music streaming service. The company unveiled the service during the keynote presentation at its annual World Wide Developer Conference earlier this month. iTunes Radio will be free with ads, or ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers.
Sources also said the deals Apple is offering independent record labels are similar to the contracts the company signed with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
Apple hasn't publicly confirmed the terms of the deals it is offering any of the record labels, but if the WSJ's sources are correct, it looks like Apple is aggressively trying to get more content on board before iOS 7 launches this fall.