Apple has decided to change course and pay labels for the rights to stream their music during a 90-day free trial. The move comes after Taylor Swift penned an open letter to the hardware giant, writing that she found the company’s insistence “disappointing” and shocking.
In a tweet, senior vice president of internet services and software Eddy Cue wrote that Apple would pay artists during the 90-day period.
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
In an interview with Billboard, Cue elaborated that it was Swift’s letter that turned him around on the issue. “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.”
“I am elated and relieved,” Swift tweeted an hour after Cue’s announcement. “Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”
Cue added that Apple had heard the same “concern from a lot of artists,” noting that it was “never our intent” to not compensate artists, rather they were planning to originally negotiate a higher royalty rate, which they will stick with.
Asked if Apple is eating the cost of the 90-day trial period, Cue said, “We’re certainly paying for it, yes. We’re all in.”