Apple Music Changes Royalty Policy Following Taylor Swift Protest

Alex Spencer

taylor swiftApple has changed its Apple Music royalties policy, after pop star Taylor Swift posted an open letter explaining why her album 1989 would not be appearing on the streaming service.

Swift was protesting against Apple's decision to not pay artists for any time their songs were played during the service's three-month trial period.

“I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company,” Swift wrote in the post, which has attracted over 66,000 'notes', a combination of likes and shares, since it appeared on Tumblr yesterday, 21 June.

Apple responded swiftly – no pun intended – and less than 24 hours later, SVP of internet software & services Eddy Cue tweeted “#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period”.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Cue confirmed that artists will now be paid on a 'per stream' basis, but decline to specify what rate they would be offered – the implication being that it will be lower than the 71.5 per cent of subscription revenue it will pay thereafter.

Shortly afterwards, Swift tweeted “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.” Whether her music will appear on Apple Music going forward, however, is still unannounced.