Free music by artists
Updated @ 11:47 EST: Apple has apparently backtracked, with company senior VP Eddy Cue tweeting that "#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period." In a second tweet, he indicated that Apple changed course because of criticism from Taylor Swift and indie artists.
Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift criticized Apple today for launching its music streaming service with a three-month free trial period in which musicians will not be paid for their work.
To Apple, Love Taylor
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13)
Swift, 25, is one of the most popular and financially successful musicians in the world. She is hoping that her influence will help new musicians who are struggling to make money.
"This is not about me, " Swift wrote. "Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. 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. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field… but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs."
We've contacted Apple for a response but haven't heard back yet.
Swift's latest album, 1989, will not be available on Apple Music but it can be purchased from iTunes for $12.99. Apple Music does have the rights to Swift's previous albums.
She wrote that "Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans."
The Apple Music service was announced two weeks ago, and will arrive on June 30 on iOS devices with the aforementioned three-month trial, after which users would have to pay a $10 monthly subscription fee, or $15 for families.
"Apple won’t pay music owners anything for the songs that are streamed during Apple Music’s three-month trial period, a bone of contention with music labels during negotiations for the new service, " Re/code wrote last week.
After that, Apple will pay 71.5 percent of subscription revenue to music rights owners in the US and an average of 73 percent outside the US, Apple executive Robert Kondrk told Re/code. "Kondrk says Apple’s payouts are a few percentage points higher than the industry standard, in part to account for the lengthy trial period; most paid subscription services offer a free one-month trial, " the article noted.
Swift has also fought against Spotify, which charges users the standard $9.99 a month for a premium subscription but also offers a free, ad-supported version that can be used without any time limitations. Music rights owners get a cut of the ad revenue, but Swift pulled her albums off the service last year.