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APPLE'S PROBLEMS INCLUDE THREE OF MUSIC'S BIGGEST STARS (MBW)

If you’re following the unfolding Apple Music narrative—up to and including the ecstatic elucidation of Jimmy Iovine, Ian Rogers and Larry Jackson right nearby—you’ll definitely want to read this morning’s lead story on Music Business Worldwide. In the piece, bearing the provocative headline “Apple Music: The 5 Big Problems It Needs to Fix Before Launch,” Tim Ingham lays out the most crucial issues that remain unresolved 11 days before launch.

The indie labels’ problems with not getting royalties through the three-month free trial are well-documented, but Ingham’s tack renders this problem much more concrete, noting that the absence of indie artists would mean “a frightening 30% of the market simply aren’t available at launch. Jamie XX and Caribou would be much-missed. Arctic Monkeys would sting. The Prodigy would leave a sizeable hole. But let’s not pretend that one name doesn’t stands out above all others.

“She’s the biggest music star on the planet – and she just happens to be signed to an independent.

Adele, whose 21 and 19 are on XL/Beggars’ roster—and whose third album is due, well, whenever she likes, really—will be one of most searched-for names on Apple Music’s first day. What if she’s not there?

“That’s exactly what could happen should Beggars boss Martin Mills (in consultation with his labels and artists) decides that Apple Music’s three-month trial isn’t worth his catalog.

“Here’s the really scary thought: How could Apple even risk Adele not being on its service? Could it plausibly be true that Apple simply didn’t understand this could happen?”

There’s a lot more food for thought where that came from. 

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