Apple Music has announced that it will provide higher royalty payments for music released in Spatial Audio on its streaming service. The change, set to take effect with January’s month-end royalty payments, will see songs available in Spatial Audio receive up to a 10 percent higher payout rate compared to other tracks. Importantly, listeners are not required to actually listen to the Spatial version of the tracks for the songs to receive increased royalties; they just need to be available in Spatial Audio. The move is aimed at rewarding higher-quality content and compensating artists for their investment in mixing Spatial Audio.
Spatial Audio, powered by Dolby Atmos technology, was introduced to Apple Music in 2021. Apple positioned this audio experience as a revolutionary leap in music listening, akin to the transition from mono to stereo. While some users find Spatial Audio highly impressive, others note that differences can be less noticeable in certain cases. Apple did not disclose the specific number of songs available in Spatial Audio on its platform but mentioned that the figure has grown by 5,000 percent since the feature’s launch. Approximately 80 percent of the tracks that made it to Apple Music’s Daily Top 100 in the previous year were released in Spatial Audio.
The decision to boost Spatial Audio royalties could be driven by multiple factors. A Bloomberg report in December suggested that increasing the availability of spatial audio content could encourage consumers to purchase more Apple hardware. Additionally, Spatial Audio serves as a differentiating factor from some competitors like Spotify. Apple’s emphasis on high-end audio is evident in its introduction of free lossless audio for all Apple Music subscribers, and the company has equipped several of its headphones with Spatial Audio capabilities.
By offering financial incentives for Spatial Audio content, Apple Music aims to further promote and reward artists creating immersive and high-quality audio experiences. This move aligns with Apple’s broader strategy of positioning itself as a leader in delivering premium audio content and technology.