Apple responds to Taylor Swift’s open letter, promises to pay royalties during free trial

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Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue just announced that Apple Music will pay royalties even during its three-month free trial, in a dramatic shift from the company’s original plans after Taylor Swift complained about its policy.

Apple had planned to launch its streaming service on June 30 with a free three-month trial. It had cemented deals with labels to pay them nothing during the trial, but bump up royalties afterwards.

Following backlash after Swift published an open letter calling the policy “unfair” on Tumblr, the company has changed gears.

Cue did not share details on how much it would pay labels and artists during the trial periods. We’ve contacted Apple to find out more and will update this post when we hear back.

Update: Recode reports that while Apple won’t pay rights holders as much during the free trial period as it will once users become subscribers. Instead, the company will pay rights holders on an undisclosed per-stream basis.

Image credit: Everett Collection /

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