This weekend, Taylor Swift took to her Tumblr account to explain that she wouldn’t be letting Apple Music stream her latest album, 1989, since they weren’t paying artists, writers and producers during their 3-month trial period. She said she was doing it to stand up for all artists, and apparently it worked, because Apple has done a 180 and now WILL pay everyone during the trial period, after all.
iTunes CEO Eddy Cue took to Twitter to reveal the news, then spoke to Billboard to elaborate on the situation.
And from Billboard:
Cue elaborated that it was Swift’s letter that turned him around on the issue. “When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change. And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period.”
Cue added that Apple had heard the same “concern from a lot of artists,” noting that it was “never our intent” to not compensate artists, rather they were planning to originally negotiate a higher royalty rate, which they will stick with.
Asked if Apple is eating the cost of the 90-day trial period, Cue said, “We’re certainly paying for it, yes. We’re all in.”
Once the decision was made by Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cue called Swift on the phone from her tour in Amsterdam. “I let her know that we heard her concerns and are making the changes. We have a long relationship with Taylor so I wanted her to hear directly from us.”
Swift’s reaction: “She was thrilled and very thankful and excited to see how quick we responded.”
Oh, I bet she’s thankful and excited. More money! In all seriousness, I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it’s a matter of principle. All artists deserve to be paid fairly for their work because, well, it’s their work. That’s what’s right. On the other hand, she has so much fucking money that any streaming royalties would be like chump change, so the fact that she’s moaning is vaguely obnoxious… but then I think about the fairness thing and I can’t really hate (and I do love TSwift, generally speaking).
Then again, a photographer has called her out for pretty much doing the same shit she’s accusing Apple of doing to her… so there’s that.
Anyway, Taylor’s happy:
I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 22, 2015