Taylor Swift has confirmed that her massively popular 1989 album will in fact come to Apple Music, which debuts on June 30. The blonde-locked singer announced the news via Twitter, capping what has been a whirlwind week for Apple, Swift, streaming music, and the music industry in general.
After the events of this week, I've decided to put 1989 on Apple Music...and happily so.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 25, 2015
Apple found that out the hard way over the weekend that you definitely do NOT want to piss off “T Swizzle.” Swift railed against Apple in a Tumblr post on Sunday which brought attention to the fact that while the upcoming Apple Music three-month free trial would be a boon for music fans, it amounted to artists not getting paid for their work during that trial period.
“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done,” said Swift. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
It wasn’t surprising that Swift decided to take up arms against Apple, or even that her Tumblr post garnered so much attention. What’s really surprising, however, is that even bloggers and publications that we would consider hardcore Apple fanboys joined Swift in eviscerating Apple’s three-month free trial ploy.
Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple was one of the most vocal opponents, writing, “I am disappointed in Apple. If the company feels so strongly that someone shouldn’t be paid for the three-month trial, why don’t the top ten executives at the company give up their salaries, bonuses, and stock for three months and pay the artists instead.”
Within hours, Apple backtracked and announced that it would indeed pay artists during the three-month trial. Apple SVP Eddy Cue fell on his sword, taking to Twitter to write:
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Eddy later explained in an interview with Billboard, “We’ve been hearing a lot of concern from indie artists about not getting paid during the three-month trial period, which was never our intent. We never looked at it as not paying them.
“But 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 decided we will now pay artists during the trial period and we’ll also keep the royalty rate at the higher rate.”
With 1989 now heading to Apple Music, we can finally close this [short] chapter in Taylor Swift vs. Apple. In the end, artists get paid, Apple avoids further mud slinging, and Taylor Swift fans can enjoy her hit album via Apple Music.