Apple will pay artists 10% higher royalties for spatial music


Apple wants to incentivize more artists to make their music available in an immersive Spatial Audio experience.

Artists whose work is available on Apple Music in Spatial Audio will start receiving greater royalties by the end of January, according to multiple reports.

Spatial Audio offers an immersive sound experience when listening with AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or Beats, as well as devices including newer models of iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers.

According to a note sent from Apple Music to labels and seen by 9to5Mac, the company will pay up to 10% more per play in royalties for tracks available in a spatial version. Artists will be awarded with bonus payment regardless of whether users listen to the audio in spatial or not.

The note said that “pro-rata shares for Spatial Available plays will be calculated using a factor of 1.1 while Non-Spatial Available plays will continue to use a factor of 1,” as reported by Music Business Worldwide.

Spatial Audio was launched in 2021 and has proved to be a popular feature with listeners. The number of songs available in audio has grown 5,000% since then, according to Apple Music.

It noted a “wide adoption of Spatial from the biggest hitmakers worldwide” and said 80% of the songs that reached Apple Music’s Global Daily Top 100 in the past year were available in a spatial version.

In December, Bloomberg reported that Apple may be hoping to boost its hardware sales by offering users more music in a spatial format, which it said was also “broadly affordable” for established artists and labels to consider taking part in efforts to boost royalties.

Spatial audio is also what distinguishes Apple Music from its main rival Spotify, which is yet to offer the experience.