After Apple announced that its new Apple Music streaming service would offer a three-month free trial, the world rejoiced. But there was more to it than met the eye.
According to an open letter written by Taylor Swift to Apple, artists would be the ones paying for this free trial, not Apple. Apple had declined to pay royalties to artists during the trail period, which spurned on the open letter from Swift.
Apple claimed to pay a bit more than competitors for songs. Outside the US it pays 73 per cent of the revenue compared to 70 per cent for the likes of Spotify. It apparently thought this extra would make up for not paying during the three month trial period. Swift's letter argued otherwise.
In the letter she essentially said Apple Music won't get her latest album, 1989, because she doesn't want a "young songwriter" who's counting on that first single in order to stay afloat. She claims her cut doesn't factor into it. Either way Apple has listened.
Following the letter, Apple's Eddy Cue has responded on Twitter. Three tweets from him read: "Apple will always make sure that artist are paid". Also, "#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period". And finally, "We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple". This refers to other indie artists who also complained.
Cue said he reached out to Tim Cook directly to fix this issue. How Apple will now be paying the artists during that three-month trial period has not been divulged. But Cue has said it will be a per-stream payout rather than the usual revenue percentage.