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Apple Music incentivizes artists to release Spatial Audio music with royalty bump

Apple Music

Apple Music hopes to increase its Spatial Audio music offering by paying artists up to 10% more royalties as long as they've published songs in the format.

Dolby Atmos music, which Apple has dubbed Spatial Audio music, launched in 2021 on Apple Music. The feature has proven popular for the service, but Apple wants more artists taking part in the format.

In what was likely an email to Apple Music artists seen by 9to5Mac, Apple is encouraging artists to make their music available in Spatial Audio. As long as an artist has tracks available in Spatial Audio, the artist is eligible for royalties up to 10% higher from Apple.

The payout doesn't rely on what Apple Music users listen to on the service. Instead, it is determined by the proportion of Spatial Audio songs to non-Spatial Audio songs.

For example, for artists to get the full 10% incentive, they'll have to offer all of their music in Spatial Audio.

Apple shared that 90% of users have at least tried listening to a song in Spatial Audio, plus plays in the format have tripled since the 2021 launch. The number of songs available in Spatial Audio has increased by nearly 5,000%, doubling in 2023 alone.

Apple sees the higher royalty percentage as both an incentive and a reward. The company wants more high-quality music on its platform but also addresses that recording audio for Dolby Atmos tracks is a higher effort.