Apple u-turns after Taylor Swift slams music policy

Apple has made a U-turn over artist royalties for its new music streaming service, after pop megastar Taylor Swift said she was holding back her 1989 album.

In an open letter, Swift said she was “disappointed” that the technology giant would not be paying writers, producers, or artists during a free three-month trial when people sign up to Apple Music – its new streaming service which will launch on June 30.

But a series of tweets by Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice-president, showed the Cupertino, CA-based company will now be paying artists during the free trial period
The amount of royalties going to artists remained undisclosed during this trial period, but will be paid on a “per stream” basis, according to comments by Cue in BuzzFeed. After this, Apple will pay music owners 71.5 percent of Apple Music’s subscription revenue in the U.S., Robert Kondrk, Apple’s iTunes chief, told Re/code earlier this month, but could rise to 73 percent in other countries.

Swift said in a tweet that she was “elated” by the change of policy.


“I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music.”

Swift has been a vocal critic of the royalty payments made by music streaming services. Last year, the “Shake It Off” singer pulled her entire music catalog from Spotify.

“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing,” she wrote.