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Apple Music Retract Policies in the Wake of Taylor Swift

Swift Justice

Apple Music was always going to have a troubled beginning. Apple have been uncharacteristically late to the streaming party and they've fared no better than Jay Z or Rhapsody (only one of those refers to a rapper). One of the biggest selling points Apple were determined to push was the 3 month free trial, considering that many other streaming platforms only offer 30 day trials or none at all. The problem with that is that artists signed to Apple Music wouldn't be paid royalties for the duration of the trial period. By this token, Apple inadvertently incurred the wrath of Tay-Tay.

If there's one celebrity you don't want to tick off online, it's Taylor Swift. She's carved a reputation for herself as just about the most social media savvy musician on the internet. It's rare that she raises concerns about anything online, which just makes it all the more resonant when she does. Speaking on her Tumblr, Swift described the decision as “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company”. This probably wouldn't have been anywhere near as weighty if she'd just been referring to her own work, but she was far more concerned with the plight of smaller artists.

"Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt." She explained. "Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done."

Wisely, Apple have made the decision to appease Taylor Swift and her followers by recanting their royalties policy. Senior internet software and services vice president Eddy Cue tweeted early this morning that changes have been made and Swift was quick to express her gratitude. There's no getting around the fact that she had a big hand in making this happen.

This decision will certainly place Apple Music in the good graces of Swift and other musicians for a while, which is no bad thing (especially since the pop star also placed Spotify in her crosshairs recently). It's impossible to understate the value of good publicity from the right sources and proving that you listen to your partners is equally important, but it's still far too early to tell exactly how well Apple Music will ultimately fare.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Apple Music Retract Policies in the Wake of Taylor Swift Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Rating: 5

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