Apple has backed down and will pay royalties to musicians for music streamed during customers’ three-month free trial of its new streaming service, and it is all thanks to Taylor Swift. An eloquently penned open letter to the company made Apple listen, especially when she made it clear she was withholding her popular new album because of it. It follows her decision to leave Spotify after problems over royalties.
Swift believes that artists should be paid a fair amount for their hard work. That is time and effort that goes into writing and producing the songs. To be paid pennies is just as much of an insult as to be paid nothing at all, and it is time things like this stopped. At least, that is the way she sees it.
To Apple, Love Taylor http://t.co/GN9jiRkqlj
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 21, 2015
Entertainment Weekly reports that Taylor wrote the open letter over the weekend, and it quickly caught Apple’s attention. The music streaming service will appear on June 30, but she said that 1989 would not be on it if the current payment plan is confirmed. One of the biggest issues is that the free trial is much longer than most other companies. While many opt for a one-month free trial, Apple has stated that customers will get a three-month one. That means that artists “will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her song,” according to Taylor Swift.
It is understandable why she is so angry at the decision, especially when customers could then cancel the subscription service and not listen again. Her open letter was not about her. Swift was simply standing up for those who are not in a financial position like herself. She can support herself, her band and those around her, but those working on their first album or indie artists with little backing would have little chance of success.
According to NBC, the open letter made Apple think hard about the decision not to pay royalties during the free trial. Eddy Cue, the Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services for Apple, agreed that artists should be paid. Tim Cook, CEO, also said that it was the right move. Cue spoke to Taylor to listen to all of her concerns and discussed changes they would make. Taylor Swift quickly took to Twitter after the news broke to share just how elated she was at the positive decision.
I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us. — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 22, 2015
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]