Apple made a hasty reversal of its policy to not pay royalties for free trial customers on Apple Music, after Taylor Swift penned an open letter calling the policy “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”
The quick change in policy made a lot of critics happy, but Apple has still not detailed the amount of royalties it will pay artists for free trial customers. This refusal to disclose the information might lead to Apple making a small adjustment, instead of full payments.
The subscription service does not have a freemium model, meaning free trial users will be paying nothing; information or cash, for the music. This means Apple needs to take some money out of the £120 billion war chest, to compensate artists.
Apple has the money to afford this, but it seems unlikely it will pay exactly the same number per listen. The company has even confirmed rates will go up as more customers subscribe to the service, ultimately meaning the success of Apple Music is tied directly into how much artists make on the platform.
Unless Apple has big plans to rate per listen, this might mean for the first few years Apple Music will offer the same rate Spotify, Rdio and Deezer have been offering for years. Though most artists do not seem to have a problem with this, The Beggars Group, Taylor Swift and other artists against music streaming may not like the drop in sales.
Apple claims it is all for the artist and has worked to secure several prominent artists on Apple Music, not only for its music streaming platform but to keep Connect active. Beats 1 will no doubt tie into Apple’s promotion of the streaming service, with typical radio adverts swapped out for promotion of Apple’s services.
Apple Music will launch later this year with a £9.99 one person tier and £14.99 family tier.