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Labels to get, count them, 0.13 cents per play on Apple iRadio

If the entire human race plays a tune, it makes ... $11m

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Apple has begun telling music labels exactly how much money they can expect to earn from their new iRadio service - and it ain't gonna be very much.

The fruity firm will hand over just 0.13 cents per play, along with 15% of their advertising revenue, according to reports. If the record label manages to survive a year on those kind of wages, Apple will whack up the payment to a mammoth 0.14 cents per listen, with 19% of ad revenue on top.

As stingy as this sounds, it's still a good 0.01 of a cent better than rival Pandora's deal, which pays labels just 0.12 cents and about half as much royalties.

Any artist whose tunes get the Apple seal of approval and has their tune named a "Heat Seeker" will receive special promotion, but no payment.

Likewise, if someone has already bought a track and then plays it on iRadio, Apple won't give them a cent.

Pandora seems unfazed by Apple's new radio station, which offers a remarkably similar streaming music service. Both will allow music lovers to listen to a series of songs punctuated by adverts. However, with iRadio incorporated directly into Apple's iEcosystem, fanbois may well start to desert Pandora.

Nonetheless, the incumbent streamer firm is still confident about its chances, claiming the two services are quite different.

“It’s apples and oranges,” Pandora founder Tim Westergren said.

The iRadio licensing document sent to labels also refers to the use of songs in talk, sports and weather programming, perhaps as background music or as jingles. Apple has not said whether it will actually bring out its own radio station, beamed live from Cupertino.

Although Apple's iTunes is widely credited as more or less saving the ailing music industry by being one of the first to get customers to pay for digital music, artists are receiving less and less money for their work.

Pink Floyd - who've made a bob or two - recently slammed Pandora for trying to lobby Congress to pass a law allowing them to pay even lower royalties to artists.

The prog-rockers linked to our article on the proposed bill, which found the bill would cut payments to artists by 85 percent. ®

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