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Apple's (AAPL) $50M Fund to Support Amateur Indie Musicians

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Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) latest effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic involves struggling indie musicians. Apple Music has launched a $50-million advanced royalty fund, per a RollingStone report, for independent record labels that have a direct distribution deal and earns “at least $10,000 in quarterly Apple Music earnings.”

Apple’s initiative is imperative for the music industry as live programing and album sales came to a screeching halt following the coronavirus-imposed lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing.

While popular concerts and major festivals like Coachella are deferred or canceled entirely, artists like Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Sam Smith back-burnered their album releases in the past couple of weeks.

Moreover, music streaming is also showing a declining trend, which does not bode well for companies like Spotify (SPOT - Free Report) , Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple Inc. price-consensus-chart | Apple Inc. Quote


In fact, Apple Music followed the footprints of Spotify, which launched a COVID-19 music relief project to raise funds for musicians in late March. Spotify also partnered with non-profit organizations, such as MusiCares and Help Musicians, a UK-based charity for musicians.

Apple’s Concerted Efforts to Combat Coronavirus

Tech giants including Apple Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , IBM and Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) , backed by their strength in AI, machine learning and data analytics capabilities, are leaving no stone unturned to combat the coronavirus crisis.

For instance, Microsoft unveiled a COVID-19 tracker tool that offers up-to-date infection statistics of each affected country on the tracker. Moreover, the tool provides access to various coronavirus-related articles and other information.

Further, Google launched a website in the United States, which posts data related to coronavirus symptoms, treatment and preventive remedies from the World Health Organization (WHO). Verily, the company’s health-care division, unveiled a COVID-19 screening and testing website under Project Baseline.

Additionally, Apple partnered with CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to release a new COVID-19 website and a COVID-19 app (currently available on the App Store) in the United States to build more awareness on the highly contagious virus.

Notably, apart from donating more than 20 million face masks globally, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company started manufacturing one million face shields a week, per CEO Tim Cook. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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