Taylor Swift Speaks — and Apple Listens

Taylor Swift Speaks — and Apple Listens Photo (cc) by Music News Australia

Apple doesn’t want pop superstar Taylor Swift to be unhappy — or withhold her latest album from its new music platform. So her recent, very public scolding of the tech giant sparked a swift response and policy change.

In an open letter on Tumblr , Swift recently took Apple to task for its policy of not paying artists to stream their music during a free, three-month trial of its new Apple Music service, which debuts June 30.

Swift wrote that she found it “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company” to not pay writers, producers or artists for three months of using their music.

“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 three-month trial period … even if it is free for the fans trying it out,” Swift said. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

Wow! Good for you, T.S.

Mere hours after Swift’s post, Apple senior executive Eddy Cue announced on Twitter that it was reversing its policy.

“#AppleMusic will pay artist [sic] for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period,” Cue tweeted.

“We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple,” Cue said in another tweet.

In an interview with Billboard, Cue said Swift’s letter spurred Apple to reassess and change its policy.

“When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change,” Cue said. “And so that’s why we decide [sic] we will now pay artists during the trial period.”

Cue told Billboard that it was “never our intent” to not pay artists. He said Apple planned on negotiating a higher royalty rate once users signed up for the paid version of Apple Music, a move the tech giant plans to stick with.

Swift tweeted that she was overjoyed with Apple’s decision.

“I am elated and relieved,” she wrote. “Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”

Swift is a champion for artists to be paid when their music is streamed. She pulled all her music off Spotify late last year because she said the company didn’t pay artists enough for playing their music.

What do you think of Swift’s letter to Apple and the tech giant’s response? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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