Sunday morning, Taylor Swift posted an open letter on Tumblr explaining her decision to hold back 1989 from Apple Music. It mainly called into question Apple’s decision to not pay artists during the introductory 3three-month free trial period, a decision that Swift noted was for other artists and not for herself.
It seems Swift did something right and just might have the power to change the industry. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, announced overnight that Apple has changed its course — it will pay artists “even during customer’s free trial period.”
Indeed, during an interview with Billboard, Cue stated:
“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.”
He added that after he and Apple CEO Tim Cook made the decision, he called Taylor directly:
“I let her know that we heard her concerns and are making the changes. We have a long relationship with Taylor so I wanted her to hear directly from us.”
On her part, Swift has retweeted both of Cue’s tweets, and personally commented that she’s “elated and relieved…They listened to us.”
It remains to be seen if she will continue to keep 1989 off Spotify and all other streaming services, or if this move is enough. What we do know, though, is Taylor Swift has helped other artists get paid more fairly.