Apple Music Replay is here, and it's still no Spotify Wrapped

Apple will pay additional royalties starting this month to artists if they have a spatial audio version on Apple Music, according to multiple reports.

The company will pay up to 10% additional royalty if an artist has all their songs in spatial audio, per a report by 9to5Mac. The extra money doesn’t depend on users playing the spatial audio version, though.

In a note sent to artists (via Music Business Worldwide), the additional money is calculated through a ratio of the Spatial-available version and the non-spatial available version.

“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,” the note reads. “This change is not only meant to reward higher quality content but also to ensure that artists are being compensated for the time and investment they put into mixing in Spatial.”

The note also mentioned that since Apple launched Spatial Audio in 2021, there has been a 5,000% increase in songs available in that format without specifying exact numbers.

In December, Bloomberg reported that Apple was planning to introduce incentives for artists to add songs to Apple Music that are mixed on Dolby Atmos technology.

Apple Music rivals including Amazon Prime Music, Tidal, and Deezer offer spatial offers. While Spotify has talked about releasing a Hi-Fi tier for a few years now, it hasn’t officially launched yet.

Apple’s announcement comes at a time when the EU is pushing for rules to ensure better revenue distribution to artists from music streaming services. The company didn’t immediately comment on the story.

Last year, Spotify changed its royalty rules to only qualify songs with more than 1,000 streams in the last 12 months for a payout.

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