There was quite a kerfuffle over the weekend, when Taylor Swift posted an open letter to her official Tumblr blog in which she sharply criticized Apple for not paying artists during the 3-month free trial of Apple Music, which is due to launch at the end of the month. In her letter, Swift urged Apple to do the right thing and compensate musicians fairly from the get go:
I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 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.
Many have acknowledged the music star has a point, and now Apple has acknowledged that, too. Shortly after Swift’s letter was posted, Eddy Cue reacted by announcing on Twitter that Apple will pay artists even during the customer’s free trial period:
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
This is a perfect example of the huge power some music stars wield over the entire industry. If even Apple was backed into a corner and forced to rectify, where’s the limit?
There’s no doubt huge corporations like Apple are still dictating the terms, but social media has given artists much of their leverage back. This is great news for all music lovers out there, and it paves the way for a more healthy relationship for everyone involved moving forward.
Kudos to Taylor Swift for raising her voice, and kudos to Apple for listening.