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Sorry, Haters: Apple Isn’t Bullying Artists Into Signing Up for Apple Music

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:01PM EST
Apple Music iTunes
Image: Apple

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In an effort to get as many people as possible signed up for Apple Music, Apple will be giving users a free three-month trial period when the service launches on June 30. During this three-month window, Apple will not be handing over any royalty payments to music labels; and in exchange for this generous grace period, Apple has agreed to pay labels a royalty rate that’s a tad higher than the industry norm once the trial period closes.

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Understandably, many artists are none too thrilled with this setup. After all, they will essentially be giving their music away for free to what may very well be tens upon tens of millions of listeners.

In light of that, Anton Newcombe, frontman for the band Brian Jonestown Massacre, went on a Twitter tirade this week. Calling Apple a “satanic corporation”, Newcombe said that Apple threatened to remove all of his band’s music from iTunes if it didn’t join Apple Music.

Of course, once word spread that a singer likened Apple to satan, the story spread like wildfire. The story eventually attracted the attention of Apple who issued a statement refuting Newcombe’s claims:

“It will not be taken off [iTunes}” an Apple spokesperson told Rolling Stone.

But here’s the funny thing, Apple never even threatened to remove Newcombe’s music. Truth be told, Newcombe’s entire exchange with “Apple” was actually with a Twitter troll account titled APPLEOFFICIAL.

So while everyone was quick to jump on the “See how evil Apple is?!” bandwagon, the truth is that this was a non-story from the get-go.

Besides, Apple has bigger fish to fry, such as the fact that Taylor Swift’s album 1989 won’t be available on Apple Music.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.