Apple Music Will Be First to Stream Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’
Days after she pretty much single-handedly convinced Apple Music to pay artists during its initial three-month free trial period, the powerful Taylor Swift has announced she will grant the new streaming service permission to include her most recent album, 1989, in its library.
It's a major coup for Apple, as Swift has previously made a point of removing her catalog (including the hit 2014 album) from Spotify. However, Swift made sure to note that this is not an exclusive deal with Apple -- like the one the company just made with Pharrell -- but rather it's “the first time it’s felt right":
Apple Music -- which will go live on June 30 -- originally planned to not pay artists during its free trial but attempted to keep labels and artists in its good graces by promising a higher royalty rate (71.5 percent in comparison to Spotify’s 70 percent) following the three-month period. However, the proposition incited the outrage of indie labels and Swift, who wrote an open letter announcing she would withhold her latest album from the service until the company reversed its decision.
“This is not about me,” she wrote. “Thankfully, I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.”
But it very much came to be about Swift when Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue tweeted that the company had changed its mind and would pay artists during those first three months after all, writing, "We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple."
Shortly thereafter, indie label owners Beggars Group and Merlin also came around and gave Apple Music access to its artists’ music.