When Apple Music was unveiled earlier this month, many saw it as Spotify’s starkest competition. After all, when a behemoth as large as Apple enters new territory, it will always be seen as one of the top dogs. However, the biggest complaint facing Apple Music’s revelation was Apple’s policy on not paying royalties to artists during trial periods. It’s absurd to think a company as large as Apple would implement a terrible, anti-artist policy.
Yesterday, pop megastar Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple detailing her reasoning behind not releasing her 1989 album on the service, stating:
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.
This is not about me […] 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 […]
But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.
Thankfully, Apple listened. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, responded to Swift’s letter on Twitter by announcing the policy will be reversed, allowing all artists to be paid for their music:
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
When an artist of Taylor Swift’s magnitude comes out denouncing your service, you listen. Cynics might point at the potential loss of revenue from artists like Swift as their main reasoning for reversing their policy. However, no matter what Apple’s intentions may be, the fact that all artists of varying sizes will be compensated for their music is a much larger win for everybody.
Thanks, Taylor Swift.
[via USA Today]