The new Apple Music service provides news users with a free three month trial. Apple initially planned not to pay artists during these first three months. This is good news for subscribers but bad news for artists.
That plan changed yesterday, thanks to Taylor Swift.
In a spirited letter posted online, Swift lashed out at Apple for it’s plan to deprive artists of royalty payments for the entire duration of the three month free trial. Of note, most paid music subscription services only offer one free month.
Just hours after Taylor Swift’s letter went viral, Apple’s content chief Eddy Cue announced that the policy would be changed and that artists would be paid.
It’s not often that we see a Fortune 500 company essentially back down from pressure from an individual celebrity. The immediacy of the action is even more shocking. Apple could have taken its time before responding to Swift. Heck, Apple didn’t have to respond at all!
I suspect their swift decision was a calculated one. They essentially will be able to end the controversy and bad publicity before it ever gets started. This way they can launch their new music service without any of the negative noise.
I have to give Taylor Swift props for standing up for all artists. After all, she didn’t have to say anything. She obviously doesn’t need the money herself. For her selfless act, and the immediate impact she made, Taylor Swift is my Hero of the Week!
Let’s also commend Apple for doing the right thing as well. Apple could have stuck to their guns and not change their policy. They could have changed the policy while also reducing the free trial (this still could happen later). For now, it looks like Apple is going to foot the bill for those free three months. I’ll definitely be signing up. First on the playlist? Taylor Swift’s 1989 of course!