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Taylor Swift Actually Made Apple Change its Mind

Published Jun 22nd, 2015 7:00AM EDT
Apple Music Royalty Payments
Image: Apple

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Following Taylor Swift’s letter to Apple regarding her shock and disappointment with the fact that music owners would be receiving no royalty payments during Apple Music’s three-month trial period, Apple has abruptly reversed course.

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In a series of tweets sent out late on Sunday evening, Apple executive Eddy Cue announced that Apple, per Swift’s suggestion, will foot the bill for royalty payments during Apple Music’s three-month trial period.

Recall that Swift, in her widely circulated open letter to Apple over the weekend, suggested that Apple, with its massive bank account, could and should assume responsibility for royalty payments.

The letter reads in part:

I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.

Upon learning of Apple’s about face, Swift took to Twitter where she said she was elated with Apple’s decision.

As for how Apple even managed to convince music labels to agree to a lengthy royalty-free trial period in the first place, Apple, in exchange, agreed to pay music owners approximately 73% of all subscription revenue on the back end. According to Apple, that figure is a  “few percentage points higher than the industry standard.”

While it remains to be seen how quickly consumers take to Apple Music, this move by Apple is certainly a great way to curry favor with artists and the music industry on the whole, especially those who have been rather vocal and critical about Apple’s intentions.

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.