It only took 17 hours for Apple to admit Taylor Swift was right about not paying artists

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Early Sunday, Taylor Swift published a post on her Tumblr account about why she would not be putting her album "1989" on Apple Music.

"I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service," she wrote. "I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months.

"I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company," she added.


It only took 17 hours before Apple admitted she was right.

In a series of Tweets late Sunday, Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue Tweeted they would pay artists during the period:


When it rolled out Apple Music earlier this month, Apple went out of its way to tout the platform as artist friendly, enrolling Drake to make the case that it would help established and up-and-coming musicians alike.

But Swift appears to have been the only to stumble on three trial-period loophole. But it's not surprising that she discovered the loophole: Swift continues to withhold her music from Spotify on similar grounds that its free, ad-driven tier does not compensate artists fairly.


ReCode reporter Peter Kafka has already spoken with Cue about the change. He says Swift's post as well as complaints from other (unspecified) artists led to the change, though he did speak with Swift directly.

Cue says Apple will pay rights holders for the entire three months of the trial period, though will have to do so on a per-stream basis because of how royalty agreements for paying subscribers are structured.


Billboard's Shirley Halperin also reached Cue, who says it was "never [Apple's] intent" to not compensate artists. Instead, Halperin writes, "they were planning to originally negotiate a higher royalty rate, which they will stick with."

Swift has retweeted Cue's Tweets from her account. And also added this:


Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.