The independent music community protested and Apple listened. Whether the decision was based on a love of music, being faced with the prospect of launching a music service sans indie or most likely a little bit of both, kudos to Cupertino who overnight changed their position and pledged to pay artists during its 90 day free trial period.
The torrent of protests from the independent music community over Apple Music’s policy of not paying royalties during its 90 day trials, has caused the company to shift gears and pledge to pay artists “for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.”
The independent revolt against Apple Music was global, with trade groups in the US. UK, Germany and france representing thousands of labels weighing in. But when tweeting the change, Apple executive Eddie Cue gave particular credit to Taylor Swift. “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple,” Cue tweeted. And just to be sure his message was clear:
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Swift had taken to Tumblr over the weekend, penning an open letter “To Apple, Love Taylor” which praised the company, but called on its to change its policy and compensate artist during free trials. “Three months is a long time to go unpaid,” wrote Swift, “and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing.
“When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change,” Cue told Billboard late last night. “And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period.”
“I am elated and relieved,” Swift tweeted later. “Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”