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Apple Music u-turn on payment policies

22nd June 2015

Over the weekend, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple Music on her Tumblr page which then prompted a turnaround on their policy of paying artists.

This isn’t the first time that Taylor Swift has been in the news with regards to music streaming – she withdrew all her music from Spotify last year, blaming low payments to artists, but this time her views have been heard, and acted upon.

Apple Music, which launches on 30th June, are offering a three month free trial for subscribers but what hadn’t been announced is that the artists, producers or writers weren’t to be paid during that three month trial period. Taylor wrote “I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Taylor Swift or her music, it seems to have raised her profile somewhat. She wasn’t writing from the viewpoint of how she wouldn’t benefit – she has fully admitted that her music career has done her well, but she is raising the point for all the new musicians and those struggling artists who would suffer tremendously not being paid for three months. The respect that she now gains from her peers and those in the music industry stands her to be a big influencer, from both sides. Not only to those smaller musicians who have now benefitted rightly from her speaking out, but also from Apple, who have listened to her comments and have reversed their decision.

When writing a statement such as this one, it is important to be constructive in your tone, and Taylor obviously has a huge respect for Apple, hence why she was so disappointed in their decision. She spoke of the decision made as “completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.” 

It took just one day for Apple to tweet Taylor after her statement was released, saying that they will now be paying artists for music streamed during those three months.

“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,” Apple executive Eddie Cue told Associated Press.

For Apple to change their policy after a musician’s statement is hugely reassuring for artists, and sees them as that ‘progressive’ company that Taylor knows them to be.