Apple Music has reportedly secured new multi-year deals with major record labels, but it appears that a bundle combining the service with Apple TV+ and Apple News+ is still far off.
According to Financial Times’ sources, Apple Music has renewed licensing deals “in recent months” with several record labels, including Universal Music, Sony Music, and Warner Music. This means that music from a wide range of popular artists, including Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Mariah Carey, and Blake Shelton will remain on the service.
Apple renegotiates its deals with record labels every few years to determine royalty rates and to renew rights to songs. In comparison, rival Spotify has struggled in licensing talks with Universal Music and Warner Music, with the agreements between the service and the labels being extended on a monthly basis instead of the multi-year deals that Apple Music obtained. Music labels have reportedly said that it is easier to work with Apple Music compared to Spotify.
While that may be the case, Apple Music’s new deals with record labels do not include any agreements for the Apple “super bundle” that is rumored to be in the works.
Apple is said to be working on a media bundle that will combine Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple News+ in a single subscription, which was previously reported by Bloomberg to possibly arrive as early as 2020. The report pointed to a provision that Apple included with publishers for bundling Apple News+ subscriptions with other services.
The Financial Times’ sources, however, said that Apple Music’s new contracts with the record labels do not include an agreement that will enable the rumored bundle, which indicates that the subscription package “may be months away” from happening.
The lack of an agreement over the bundle in Apple Music’s new deals with record labels does not mean that Apple is not currently engaged in negotiations though. While music labels and news publishers have expressed concern that the discounts may hurt revenues, Apple may pursue the bundle as it will give the company a huge advantage over its competition.
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