Apple Music Changes Policy on Royalties

In a victory for independents and emerging artists, the company's new streaming service will extend royalty payments to free trial periods.
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Earlier this month, Apple unveiled details of Apple Music, a new service launching at the end of June. Paid subscribers will have access to unlimited music streaming for $9.99 per month, plus a three-month free trial period. However, the company's original policy, which stated that music labels and publishers would not receive any royalties from plays during the 90-day trial, sparked controversy. Siding with independent labels such as Beggars Group (home to the XL and Rough Trade labels) and the Association of Independent Music, pop star Taylor Swift penned an open letter to Apple over the weekend explaining why her 1989 LP would not be available on the service, and calling on the company to change its policy. "Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing," she wrote. "We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

As a result, Apple's Eddy Cue announced the reversal of the policy this morning via Twitter, stating: "Apple will always make sure that artist are paid. #AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer's free trial period. We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple." A 'per-stream' royalty system will be out into place instead. (via Resident Advisor)