Apple Music changes their royalty payout plan in response to Taylor Swift
Where there is streaming news, there is controversy. Apple Music, which saw a promising reception to its release earlier this month, had its first stumble when leaked documents showed the platform’s dismal royalty payout plan, which suggested that no royalties would be paid to artists during the platform’s free trial period. Arriving at a time when artist royalties have become the latest hot button topic for music, the news caught the attention of online ambassador and pop icon Taylor Swift.
Taking to her Tumblr to respond, Swift used her influence as a celebrity to put in a fight for the ‘little guys.’ Retracting her catalogue from a streaming platform for the second time (the first was with Spotify), Swift explained that Apple Music’s decision to withhold pay from hardworking artists for three months is equivalent to “asking Apple for free iPhones.”
“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. Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
Apparently, her words struck a note with Apple’s SVP, Eddy Cue, who was so inspired that he spoke to CEO Tim Cook to reevaluate and change their payment policy all together. In a public response, Cue tweeted: “#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period […] Apple will always make sure that artist are paid [sic].”
Though the exact details are still unknown, it looks as though Apple Music will now be handling royalties for streaming with the artist in mind, thanks to Taylor Swift.