Two weeks ago, Apple launched its new streaming music service Apple Music. Its service allows members to experience three months of their subscription free of charge, and after that time pricing packages start at $10 a month per person and $14.99 per family. It’s programmed to go head-to-head with competitors such as Spotify and Google Music.
Two days ago Apple made headlines yet again but it wasn’t to inform the public of an updated release date. Mega-Pop princess, Taylor Swift, penned an open letter to Apple voicing her concerns with Apple’s 3-month trial.
Her concern was that in those three months, Apple’s Music’s payment structure would not include any artists, producers, or writers. She refused Apple the right to stream her new album “1989” and ended the letter saying, “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
Ms. Swift is quite the wealthy artist. In fact, Forbes listed her as number three on their Highest-Earning Celebrities Under 30 list- she’s worth $200 million. In her letter, she made it clear that she was more than able to support her entire team [financially] but as for newer artist, 3 months is a long time to go unpaid and they will really be affected by Apple’s policy
Taylor’s voiced concerns won the praises of many new, indie, established, and aspiring artists, as well as her supporters. Apple has since changed its payment policy and is now saying that they will pay all artists for music streamed during the 3-month trial period.
Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Services and Software, Eddy Cue, stated in an interview with Billboard:
We’ve been hearing a lot of concern from indie artists about not getting paid during the three-month trial period, which was never our intent. We never looked at it as not paying them.
We had originally negotiated these deals based on paying them a higher royalty rate on an ongoing basis to compensate for this brief time. But when I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that’s why we decided we will now pay artists during the trial period and we’ll also keep the royalty rate at the higher rate.
In response to Apple’s payment policy change, Swift took to Twitter to express her feelings: