The advertised introduction of Apple Music with a 90-day free trial period, during which time neither Apple nor the music industry would be paid with iTunes supplying the music, has resulted in a spat between Apple (AAPL, +.80%) and the music industry.
The reality of their music being played while no royalties would be paid, infuriated many members of the music industry.
Speaking with The Telegraph, Andy Heath, the Chairman of UK Music, said that to his knowledge, no British independent labels have agreed to Apple’s terms or intend to on the grounds that they will “literally put us out of business.”
The whole debacle was brought to a head by 26 year old singer Taylor Swift who taught the giant corporation a lesson by forcing them to back down on their intention of not paying royalties for her music to be played on Apple Music.
In what can only be described as a modern David versus Goliath contest Taylor Swift’s action has resulted in a complete turnaround in policy by Apple.
This came less than day after the singer wrote a Tumblr blog open letter to Apple on Sunday explaining that she would be holding back her album, 1989, from the new music streaming service.
She further took up the cudgels on behalf of those performers who are not as successful as the superstar and depend on the royalties received for their music for day to day living. Swift said further that three months is a long time for anyone to go unpaid for their services. The letter ended with an appeal to Apple saying it was not too late to change their policy and to agree to pay royalties during the 90 day free trial period.
The ‘no pay no play’ message from Taylor Swift was powerful in making the point that there would be no music without royalties.
The singer, who is the youngest person ever to make the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” list, had previously withheld her music from Spotify saying, “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don't feel compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music.”
Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president responsible for internet services and software, was very quick to respond with a complete backtrack on Apple’s previous position when he tweeted “Apple will always make sure that artists are paid.”
He probably had the Taylor Swift song “We are never ever getting back together” in mind when he took the decision to reverse the policy of not paying artists during the 90 day trial period.
All's well that ends well. The streaming service will still be going live with the 90-day free trial period starting with the 30 June launch. Apple Music customers will get the music they want while the music industry will be paid royalties for the songs and music going out on the service.