Apple Music will launch later this month by offering users a free three-month trial. Under the original plan, Apple would not compensate any artists, producers, or songwriters during this period. However, no less than 24 hours after Taylor Swift posted an open letter criticizing Apple’s intentions, the company has done an about-face.
As announced tonight by Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, artists will indeed be compensated during this three-month period, even if Apple is not charging users.
Update: In an interview with Billboard, Cue credited Swift for Apple reconsidering its policy. “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 added that it was “never our intent” to not compensate artists, but planned to originally negotiate a higher royalty rate, which Apple will still do.
In addition to Swift, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe, and Beggars Group (which houses labels 4AD, Rough Trade, and XL Recordings) all made public statements in opposition of Apple’s royalty-free roll out.