Apple Music has the most audio options of all music streaming services. You can listen lossless, but also spatially. Apple would clearly like to expand the latter category: it even offers artists more money if they also make their music available spatially. An extra compensation, which they also receive if the same song is listened to non-spatially: as long as the spatial version is available, Apple offers some extra money.
That extra money is not little, although you must of course keep in mind that an artist does not earn very much per song played anyway: it is a percentage of a fairly low amount per play, but at the same time it can increase considerably if, for example, you play The Weeknd is called, or Mariah Carey at Christmas time. Apple offers a 10 percent bonus to artists whose music can also be listened to in a spatial manner.
Music Business Worldwide writes that this is a new policy that will start this month. Spatial audio is important to Apple, partly because its major competitor Spotify is seriously lagging behind when it comes to audio formats and quality. The Scandinavian music streaming service has been promising for years that it will come with some kind of hi-fi/lossless-like option, but this has still not happened. For some people it is even a reason to switch to Apple Music, and Apple sees that too. Reason enough to better retain artists with this extra.
The reason why spatial audio is becoming more popular is partly because more and more headphones, smartphones, tablets and in-ears support it. So it is really useful to you, provided you like the sound of course, because spatial audio is not for everyone. Some people simply prefer to listen to ‘flatter’ music. Apple has of course ensured that its own products support the spatial audio form in any case: Macs, AirPods, iPhones and even Apple TV and Homepod support it.
Since spatial audio was launched in 2021, there has been a 5,000 percent growth in songs that are also offered spatially. However, it is unknown how many numbers there are. In any case, it is clear that there is still a lot of room for growth, otherwise Apple would not go for such an extra. Spatial audio may sound complicated to create, but it can be created even with in-ear microphones. Spatial effects can also be added afterwards with software. In any case, it is worth it for artists to look into it: it yields extra money quite immediately. At least on Apple Music, because we don’t expect something like that with Spotify anytime soon.