Apple Exec Agrees To Pay Royalties During Apple Music Trial Period

Technology giant Apple has reversed its plan to not pay royalties to rights holder during the free three-month trial period of its new music streaming service, and has agreed to pay all artists royalties when Apple Music customers are trying out the service for free.

In a series of tweets today, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, has said, “Apple will always make sure that artist are paid. Apple Music will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.”

Later, in another tweet, Cue directly addressed Taylor Swift and independent artists, saying, “We hear you Taylor Swift and indie artists. Love, Apple.”

Apple’s about-face comes after Taylor Swift penned an open letter to the company, calling out its trial period royalties policy as “shocking” and “disappointing”.

Speaking with Billboard, Cue has said it was Swift’s letter which changed his mind, and which led him to call her directly to discuss the problem.

“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,” Cue said.

“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.”

Cue also said Apple has the same concern for other artists, and said it was “never our intent” to not compensate artists. Instead, Cue said Apple were planning to negotiate a higher royalty rate, which the company will now stick with.

“We have a deep respect for what [artists] do… We’re in this for the long term,” he said.

When asked if Apple is footing the bill for the 90-day trial period, Cue said, “We’re certainly paying for it, yes. We’re all in.”

Previous to Swift’s comments, Apple Music’s trial period plans were slammed by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, who called Apple a “satanic corporation” and the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), which criticised Apple for expecting indies to “shoulder the financial burden” of the trial period, calling its plan a “major problem”.

Apple Music was announced at Apple’s 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, and will cost USD$9.99 a month in the US. Australian pricing is yet to be announced.

Apple is yet to issue an official statement regarding the reversal of its trial period royalties decision. View Eddy Cue’s series of tweets, below.

Watch: Apple Music Promo Video

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