Apple Responds Quickly To Taylor Swift And Will Pay Royalties During Three-Month Free Trial Of Apple Music
June 22, 2015 at 3:57 AM (PT)
TAYLOR SWIFT quickly got APPLE to change its tune. SWIFT wrote an open letter to APPLE late last week, complaining that the music giant wasn't planning on paying artists during the three-month free trial it was offering listeners of its new APPLE MUSIC service, and holding back music from her "1989" album from airplay.
SWIFT wrote, "To APPLE, Love TAYLOR
I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, '1989,' from the new streaming service, APPLE MUSIC. I feel this deserves an explanation because APPLE has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.
I’m sure you are aware that APPLE MUSIC will be offering a free three-month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that APPLE MUSIC will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.
This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at APPLE are pioneering in their field ... but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs."
Read the full letter here.
APPLE didn't take long to fix the issue.
"When I woke up this morning and I saw TAYLOR's note that she had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change," said APPLE SVP EDDY CUE in an interview with THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. "Music's a big part of our DNA and we always strive to make sure artists are paid for their work."
THE AP reports, "CUE declined to say how much APPLE will pay in royalties for streaming during the free trial period. He said APPLE will share 71.5% of its revenue from paid subscriptions within the U.S. and 73% from subscriptions outside the country, while other streaming services generally share about 70%."
Taylor Swift's Approval
SWIFT responded via TWITTER: "I am elated and relieved.Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us."
CUE explained the company's thinking to ROLLING STONE: "When we negotiated with the major labels, we ended up on a price where we'd pay them a higher royalty rate in compensation for [the three free months]. But it was clearly something that was not working.
"This is really simple -- if artists believe we're not paying, because we're paying for it directly, and there was an indirect way we negotiated, and that doesn't work, then we wanted to fix it. We wanted for it to be the right thing for the artists."
A label source told ROLLING STONE: "Our hope is APPLE converts its download base into subscriptions, and SPOTIFY continues to grow in the exponential way that it's going ... If those two things happen together, you really are starting to talk about a new golden age of music."