“We hear you Indie Artists.” Apple Shifts Gears, Will Pay During 90 Day Free Music Trial

indie foreverThe independent music community protested and Apple listened.  Whether the decision was based on a love of music, being faced with the prospect of launching a music service sans indie or most likely a little bit of both, kudos to Cupertino, who overnight changed their position and pledged to pay artists during its 90 day free trials.

The torrent of protests from the independent music community over Apple Music's policy of not paying royalties during its 90 day trials, has caused the company to shift gears and pledge to pay artists "for streaming, even during customer's free trial period." 

image from www.patentlyapple.com

The independent revolt against Apple Music was global, with trade groups in the US. UK, Germany and france representing thousands of labels weighing in. But when tweeting the change, Apple executive Eddie Cue gave particular credit to Taylor Swift. "We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple," Cue tweeted. And just to be sure his message was clear: 

Swift had taken to Tumblr over the weekend, penning an open letter "To Apple, Love Taylor" which praised the company, but called on its to change its policy and compensate artist during free trials. "Three months is a long time to go unpaid," wrote Swift, "and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. 

Full Text Of Taylor Swift's Letter To Apple Music

"When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed a change," Cue told Billboard late last night. "And so that's why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period." 

"I am elated and relieved," Swift tweeted later. "Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us." 

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  1. It still bothers me that we’re calling it a victory that indie artists will actually be paid their shitty royalties at all. I mean, it’s better than nothing, but are we really celebrating that we’re actually getting the pittance we’ve been complaining about for years now?
    It’s high time for the devaluation of music to stop.

  2. This is a victory, but only a partial one.
    We, as indie artists and labels, also must demand better terms.
    We also most demand proper enforcement against piracy (including the piracy enabled by YouTube and Google searches).
    Without “content”, these companies – Google, YouTube, Apple Music, iTunes, etc – would be worthless. Yet all of them aim to severely devalue content.

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