Taylor Swift published open letter to Apple on Tumblr this week (To Apple, Love Taylor), criticising its treatment of independent artists. It has been hailed as a turning point not only for the might of Apple, but also for the pop star and the power of social media.
The letter came on the back of preparations for the launch of Apple Music on 30 June. During a three-month trial period for consumers, the plan had been to share the risk with music rights holders, not paying them for streams during the trial period.
Apple had already planned to pay artists a higher rate after the trail period was over to compensate for the first three months of free service, but following Swift’s letter it reversed its decision and agreed to pay the higher rate through the trial period and beyond.
Despite the apparent criticism by Swift, she had gone to pains to express her disappointment in the global brand which
Now, Swift has said that she will allow Apple Music to stream her back catalogue, including her most recent album 1989, tweeting: “This is simply the first time it’s felt right in my gut to stream my album. Thank you, Apple, for your change of heart.”
Last year, Swift removed her entire back catalogue from Apple’s music rival Spotify on the basis that it had “shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically”.
I joined Arise News to discuss Apple’s u-turn and what this means for the subscription music sector and for Swift.