Queen Taylor Swift changes Apple Music's policy with Tumblr post
She really is one of the most powerful people in the world.
Adding to her long list of accomplishments and milestones, superstar Taylor Swift can now say she has directly altered a major policy from the world’s second largest IT company.
In response to an open letter posted on Swift’s Tumblr page, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and service, Eddy Cue, announced Sunday the company would pay all artists during Apple Music’s three-month free trial period.
Just 16 hours before Cue’s announcement, Swift posted a letter – “To Apple, Love Taylor” – on Tumblr, lambasting the company for a policy that would withhold pay for artists during the three-month free trial offered by the new Apple Music streaming service.
“I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company,” wrote Swift.
“This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.”
Swift also noted that she would be holding back her wildly successful 1989 album from the service if something didn’t change.
Thankfully for fans – and indie artists – Apple listened to Swift and will now pay all artists for streams played during the three-month trial.
“When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change. And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period,” said Cue in an interview with Billboard Sunday evening.
Cue also tweeted about the decision, stating Apple’s commitment to compensating artists and labels.
We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period — Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Apple will always make sure that artist are paid #iTunes #AppleMusic
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Swift applauded the company for their reversal, stating she was “elated and relieved”.
I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 22, 2015
Apple Music streaming service, much like similar competitors Songza or Spotify, will offer a subscription based platform to replace the existing iTunes Radio and Beats Audio. It will be released on June 30, 2015 and will cost roughly $9.99 per month for a single membership.