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Apple Music FAQ: The ins and outs of Apple's new streaming music service

Leah Yamshon | Sept. 30, 2015
What kind of playlists can I create? Will Apple Music replace iTunes? What will happen to my Beats subscription? We have the answers, and more.

I’ve been hearing a bunch of hullabaloo about Apple not paying artists royalties during the three month trial period. What’s up with that? Will Apple be paying Apple Music artists royalties? Of course Apple will be paying artists royalties, but this has been a hot topic in the weeks leading up to Apple Music’s launch. We’ve covered the great Apple versus Taylor Swift showdown of 2015 extensively, so here’s a quick recap: Originally, Apple wasn’t going to pay record labels and artists any royalties during Apple Music’s three-month free trial period, but that didn’t go over well with independent labels… or Taylor Swift. Swift and select indie labels declined to join Apple Music, and Swift published an open letter to Apple expressing her disappointment with the company. Apple responded to the letter by agreeing to pay royalties, and Swift in turn agreed to give Apple Music subscribers access to her album 1989—which she has kept from all other streaming services. Those indie labels jumped on board as well.

Now, artists will receive a small royalty for each song that is streamed for free during the three-month trial, with the full royalty agreement beginning today.

Whew. 

Do Apple Music subscribers have access to the entire iTunes catalogue? Which artists are missing? Apple Music has a library of roughly 30 million songs. iTunes? Its store sells 43 million songs worldwide. Some noticeable absences from Apple Music include Prince (which is practically a deal breaker for Macworld’s executive editor Susie Ochs), The Beatles, and the latest albums from The Black Keys. 

So, why is there stuff on the iTunes Store that isn’t on Apple Music? It all comes down to the deals Apple has made with various artists and record labels. 

What about podcasts? Apple Music currently doesn’t offer any support for podcasts (boo!). We’d love to see Apple update its own Podcasts app, or somehow link it to Apple Music, but we’re not there quite yet. 

How do I cancel my three-month free trial subscription before Apple charges my credit card? You can’t end the free trial, but you can prevent Apple Music from automatically charging you once the trial is over. Just toggle off the auto-renewal button from Apple Music’s account settings. 

 

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