Record labels are also being hit hard by the Coronavirus crisis. Physical sales are essentially decimated. Live events are not happening so licensing income from public performance plays and sync use has fallen. Labels which participate in their artists’ live income are obviously seeing that revenue reduced to zero as well.
Many labels are also postponing album releases due to the fear of a soft marketplace. Apple music will announce later today, they will be funding $50 million to independent labels and distributors who meet a minimum quarterly threshold of $10,000 in Apple Music earnings. This means Apple Music is hoping these independent labels will pay their artists to keep things in operation during these hard times.
Apple has also seen a surge of subscribers since the beginning of this pandemic, despite streaming volumes on all audio services dipping. This means the money is going more directly to independent labels for their license of music rights.
Company-wide, Apple has been trying to help those in in need. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple announced he will be donating $20 million to mask production and shipping.