Apple Music has faced criticism from musicians and independent music labels since it was unveiled at WWDC. The service's free trial has come under fire due to the lack of streaming revenues provided to artists during the three-month free period, with some arguing the potential loss of earnings could put them out of business.
The argument culminated this weekend with an open letter to Apple from Taylor Swift. In it, she called the practice "shocking" and "disappointing" while complimenting Apple's "beautiful progress" toward paid music streaming. Swift, creator of the biggest-selling album of 2014 (and 2015 so far), made waves when she pulled her entire back catalog from Spotify late last year and she has since decided against offering 1989 on any music streaming service with a free trial.
Following Swift's letter, Apple has reversed course for Apple Music and decided to pay the content creators, as Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue confirmed on Twitter.
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period — Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
He later spoke to Re/code and stated that artists would be compensated on a "per-stream basis" that will be lower than the rate paid once subscribers begin paying for the service, but is more than what was previously offered: nothing. Swift was obviously pleased.
I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us. — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 22, 2015