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Swift Change to Apple Streaming Policy

FILE - In this May 17, 2015 file photo, Taylor Swift arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

FILE - In this May 17, 2015 file photo, Taylor Swift arrives at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Pop music queen Taylor Swift took a bite out of Apple this week and the company responded with “Love.”

The technology company had announced plans to make its new music streaming service free to customers for the first three months of its existence. The service is to start June 30. Apple said in early June it would not pay any royalties to the artists’ whose music is streamed on Apple Music during the trial.

Many independent bands and artists protested the Apple decision earlier this month. Apple remained firm about its plan, however. Then, on Sunday, Taylor Swift posted her protest, “To Apple, Love Taylor,” on her Tumbler blog.

She wrote, “These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.”

Swift argued that three months is a long time to go without being paid for “new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.”

Apple did not even wait a day. Just a few hours after Swift’s open letter appeared online, Apple changed its mind.

Company official Eddy Cue said he called Taylor Swift to tell her about the new policy. He also discussed the issue on the social media site, Twitter. He tweeted “Apple will always make sure that artists are paid,” and “Apple Music will pay artist for streaming even during customer’s free trial period.”

As Taylor Swift had titled her letter, “To Apple, Love Taylor,” Eddy Cue closed his final tweet with “Love, Apple.”

So, how was Taylor Swift able to move the powerful technology company toward her position? She is powerful, too. She has tens of millions of fans, sold tens of millions of albums and is huge in digital music sales.

Swift already had received public praise for another move in support of artists’ rights. Last year, she withdrew her music from the streaming service, Spotify. She argued that the company paid too little for music which she called “rare and important” art.

However, Spotify and Apple pay artists about the same rate in royalties. And Spotify is a much smaller force in the industry.

The storm produced by Taylor Swift’s protest lasted less than 24 hours. And did it even damage Apple? Now the company looks like a music hero, less than a month before Apple Music opens for business.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Caty Weaver wrote this for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


Words in This Story

streaming adj. playing continuously as data is sent to a computer over the Internet

customern. someone who buys goods or services from a business

royalty n. an amount of money that is paid to the original creator of a product, book, or piece of music based on how many copies have been sold — usually plural

petulant - adj. having or showing the attitude of people who become angry and annoyed when they do not get what they want

sentiment – n. an attitude or opinion

digital – adj. using or characterized by computer technology

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