In case you haven’t heard about it yet, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple regarding their iTunes store policies, specifically regarding the new iTunes streaming service that Apple is about to launch soon.
The letter, published on Swift’s personal Tumblr, talked about why she is not allowing her new album ’1989′ to be streamed on iTunes. She mentioned how Apple is not paying artists for first three months of the launch of the service.
With streaming services, artists get paid according to the plays on their songs. If Apple is giving the service for free to its customers, it should reimburse the artists for the three months of lost revenue, which they don’t. (Worth noting is that Swift also does not have her entire discography on Spotify for similar monetary reasons.)
Swift further talked about how people in the music industry were dissatisfied with this move but were afraid to speak up publicly “because we admire and respect Apple so much.” She later finished her post saying “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
It didn’t take long for the post to go viral and get people talking about it even on a Sunday. But before it escalated further, Apple quickly stepped in and tried to make amends. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services, personally called Swift. In an interview with Billboard he said, “When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period.” He then confirmed Apple will be paying the artists out of its own pockets for the first three months of the service, and that it was never their intent to not compensate artists.
Swift later tweeted out saying she was “Elated and relieved”, although she didn’t confirm if she will be making her album available for streaming on iTunes.