Apple Music to pay artists during free trial period

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Apple Music to pay artists during free trial period
(2ND UPDATE) Apple reacts after listening to concerns from artists, including one heartfelt plea from Taylor Swift


MANILA, Philippines (2ND UPDATE) – Apple’s Eddie Cue announced via Twitter that it would pay artists for streaming, even during the free trial period of Apple Music.

Cue specifically writes in one tweet, “#AppleMusic will pay artist(s) for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.”


The tweets from Cue are in response to a Tumblr post by musician Taylor Swift, who said she would not allow her latest album on Apple’s streaming service. This was due to a reported lack of artist compensation during Apple Music’s free trial period.

Speaking with Buzzfeed News, Eddie Cue said the company listened to the concerns and reacted. “We’ve been watching the discussion for the past week. We want artists to be paid for their work, and when we hear from them – from Taylor or from indie artists – we listen to them,” Cue said.

He added, “Taylor’s tweet today solidified the issue for us and we decided to make a change.”

Cue also went on to call Taylor Swift to inform Apple of their decision. “She was thrilled,” he added.

Tech website Re/Code
, which also talked with Cue, said Apple wil pay rights holder for the full 3 months of the trial period, though it can’t be at the same rate Apple will pay after free users become subscribers. This is because Apple will be paying out a percentage of revenue from paying listeners.

Cue says that instead, Apple will pay rights holders on a per-stream basis, without disclosing figures.

Cue also said he hasn’t talked to any other musicians, labels, or publishers yet, though existing royalty rates it has with the 3 major music labels will still apply. 

Apple Music is set to go live on June 30, with its free trial lasting during the first 3 months of the service. – 

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.