Taylor Swift gets Apple Music to reverse policy on free trial royalty payments

Taylor Swift 1989 canvasWe recently reported that Taylor Swift’s latest album would not be available through Apple Music. Yesterday, Swift published a Tumblr post explaining why. She questioned Apple’s decision to not pay any royalties to artists, songwriters, or producers for song plays during listeners’ three-month free trials.

“These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much,” she said. “We simply do not respect this particular call.” She closed by saying that it wasn’t too late for Apple to reverse its decision about handing free trial royalties. “I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music,” she said. “I think this could be the platform that gets it right.”

It appears today that her criticism struck a nerve with Apple, and the company has indeed reversed its policy on royalties. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, said the original plan had been to pay a higher than average royalty percentage after the three free months to even out the payments. He did not disclose what the cost of changing this policy would be, or whether plays during the free trial period would get the same rates as plays during the regular subscription.

Anna Washenko