Apple Crumbles After Taylor Swift Calls Out Streaming Service For Trying To Not Pay Artists For Three Months
Taylor Swift singlehandedly got Apple Music to reverse its policy of not paying artists during a free three-month trial for fans. The streaming service had proposed to not pay musicians, songwriters, and producers during that 90-day period, but Swift’s open letter on Sunday to Apple seemed to have swayed the company to do an about-face.
As Gossip Cop reported, Swift noted on Tumblr that she wouldn’t make her hit album 1989 available on Apple Music because of the company’s unwillingness to compensate artists. She wrote that Apple Music’s plan was “shocking” and “disappointing,” especially from such a “progressive and generous company.” The hit singer also made clear that her objection had nothing to do with her because thankfully she earns more than enough to take care of her crew and management team. Swift explained, “This about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This 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 further noted of Apple, “This incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.” She added, “Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing… Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
Clearly, Swift’s letter resonated with the top echelon at Apple Music. Late on Sunday, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, who reports directly to the company’s CEO Tim Cook, tweeted, “Apple will always make sure that artist[s] are paid #iTunes #AppleMusic.” He followed that up with another tweet that assured musicians, “#AppleMusic will pay artist[s] for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.” And then he directed his last remark to Swift, “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.”
Swift later tweeted, “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”