With a whole lot of pageantry, Apple Music is about to launch its new streaming service, and it’s offering a three-month free trial subscription. And yesterday, upon learning that Apple was not planning to pay royalties during that three-month period, Taylor Swift wrote Apple an open letter taking the company to task and letting them know that she’d be holding her vastly successful 1989 album from the service. She made a whole lot of good points: “I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” Amazingly enough, it worked, and it worked almost immediately.
Billboard reports that Apple has already changed plans, and now it will be paying royalties to artists during that trial period. In an interview with Billboard, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet services and software, confirmed that it was Swift’s open letter that led to the change in policy: “When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change.” He also says that Apple was negotiating deals based on a higher royalty rate, and the company will keep doing that.
Cue also says that he called Swift directly when the company made the change: “She’s on tour in the U.K. and she was in Amsterdam. I wanted her to hear directly with from us. We’ve had a long relationship with Taylor… She was thrilled and very thankful. You can tell by the letter she wrote that she’s a great admirer of Apple and we’ve done a lot of great work together. So she was really excited to see how quickly we responded and thrilled that we did.”
And Swift has already celebrated the change on Twitter:
I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 22, 2015
That worked out really nicely! Good work, everyone!