Apple changes tune on royalties after Swift complains

FILE - In a May 17, 2015 file photo, Taylor Swift poses in the press room with the awards for top Billboard 200 album for “1989”, top female artist, chart achievement, top artist, top Billboard 200 artist, top hot 100 artist, top digital song artist, and top streaming song (video) for “Shake It Off” at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas. In an open letter to Apple, on Sunday, June 21, 2015, Swift criticized the company’s new streaming music service for failing to pay artists for a free three-month trial. Swift said she would withhold her 2014 album “1989” from Apple Music, which launches June 30. (Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision/AP, File)

PALO ALTO — Apple says it’s bowing to concerns raised by pop superstar Taylor Swift. The giant tech company now plans to pay royalties to artists and record labels during a free, three-month trial of its new streaming music service.

Swift had pulled her latest album from the Apple Music service and criticized the company in an open letter to her fans on Sunday, saying it wasn’t fair that artists and labels wouldn’t be paid directly for the use of their music during the trial period.

Apple had already agreed to share revenue when paid subscriptions begin. But executive Eddy Cue told The Associated Press that Swift’s criticism underscored complaints he’d heard from independent artists and spurred the company to change its position on payments during the free trial period.1989Apple MusicSpotifyTaylor SwiftTumblr

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