Apple were going to be paying royalties that are 1.5% higher ( or 3% higher in some non-US countries ) than other streaming services. This was to offset the loss of income during the trial period, when no royalty was going to be paid. In return for accepting a short term loss of income, the artists would receive a higher income forever after. The artist will now be paid during the trail period too.
We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
— John Paczkowski (@JohnPaczkowski) June 22, 2015
I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 22, 2015
— David Bowie Is (@DavidBowieFilm) June 22, 2015
No more bad blood: Apple senior executive Eddy Cue announced on Twitter that Apple Music will pay artists during the service’s free, three-month trial period. The reversal of policy comes one day after Taylor Swift wrote an indictment of Apple Music on Tumblr titled “Dear Apple, Love Taylor.”
“We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists,” Cue wrote on Twitter. “Love, Apple.”
Apple will pay royalties to music labels and publishers during the three-month free trial of its Apple Music streaming service, the company has confirmed, after protests from independent labels and musician Taylor Swift.
Swift appears to have been the tipping point in the row that had been rumbling all week, after she published a blog post – To Apple, Love Taylor – calling on Apple to abandon its plans for no payouts during the trial period.
Apple’s senior vice president for internet software and services Eddy Cue responded directly to the star on Twitter in announcing the company’s u-turn.
“Taylor Swift’s tweet today solidified the issue for us, we decided to make a change,” he told BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski, while confirming that Swift hasn’t yet agreed a deal to put her music on Apple Music.
Apple Music is the company’s long-anticipated rival to streaming services like Spotify, and is due to launch in more than 100 countries at the end of June.
Although a monthly subscription will cost $9.99, or $14.99 for a family of up to six people, Apple is making its new service free for three months so that people can try it out. After striking licensing deals with major labels, the company had planned to only start paying royalties after the trial period.
Independent label trade bodies in the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia spoke out against these plans in recent days, claiming that their members would be most at risk from any three-month blip in earnings if a large number of people buying music downloads from Apple’s iTunes store switched to the free trial.
Swift has become one of the most vocal musicians in the ongoing debate about how well (or poorly) streaming pays off for artists and songwriters, having taken Spotify to task in 2014 for the free tier of its service.
“I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music,” she said then. “And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”