Apple Responds to Taylor Swift's Open Letter, Says It Will Pay Artists During Apple Music Free Trial Period: 'We Hear You'
"When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change," said Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue
Taylor Swift proved just how much pop-star power she has in the music industry.
Apple has responded to the “Bad Blood” singer after she penned a lengthy essay explaining why she will hold back her 1989 album from its new streaming service, Apple Music, because its free trial period causes artists to lose three months of compensation.
“This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows,” Swift, 25, wrote in the note, titled “To Apple, Love Taylor,” on her Tumblr page.
“This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt.”
She went on to tell the company that it’s not too late to change the policy and “change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this.”
“We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation,” she wrote before ending the letter.
And the tech hub has heard the singer-songwriter’s plea. Senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue Tweeted on Sunday that “#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.”
In a follow-up Tweet, he called the singer out by name: “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.”
Cue also explained the decision-making process in an interview with Billboard, stating that Swift’s letter did in fact change minds at Apple.
“When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change. And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period,” he told the music magazine.
After the decision was made by Cue and his boss, Apple CEO Tim Cook, they called the artist on the phone during her tour in Amsterdam, according to Billboard.
“I let her know that we heard her concerns and are making the changes. We have a long relationship with Taylor so I wanted her to hear directly from us,” adding that Swift was “thrilled and very thankful and excited to see how quick we responded.”
Swift showed her millions of followers how grateful she was for the change of heart and also responded to Cue’s announcement on Twitter. “I am elated and relieved,” she Tweeted an hour after Cue’s initial Tweets. “Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”
Even rumored boyfriend Calvin Harris chimed in, Tweeting, “I just played a gig inside a giant owl and my girl just changed the entire music industry what a day.”
This isn’t the first time that the pop star has gone up against a streaming service. Swift battled it out with Spotify after wiping the music platform of her entire catalog in July 2014.
In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, she wrote: “Music is art, and art is important and rare … Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek responded in a statement at the time, agreeing that artists should be paid and that Spotify was launched “because we love music and piracy was killing it.” (The star’s music is still not available on Spotify.)