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Apple to Pay Artists After Taylor Swift Shames Company in Letter

An executive for tech giant Apple signals the company will reverse course and pay artists during the trial period of its new streaming music service.
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It took an Apple executive less than a day to bow to pop music juggernaut Taylor Swift.

Swift penned an open letter to Apple on Sunday shaming the company over its plan to not pay music artists during a trial period for its new streaming music service that launches June 30. In the letter, she announced she would be withholding her wildly successful album, “1989,” from the service.

“I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company,” Swift wrote in the letter posted to her Tumblr. Swift is known for lodging similar complaints against the popular music streaming service Spotify, and refusing to allow her music to be streamed by the company.

Hours later, Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue announced that Apple was backing down.

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“We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple,” Cue tweeted.

Cue told Re/CODE Sunday night that Swift’s letter and complaints from other artists prompted the change and that Apple CEO Tim Cook agreed to the move.

“I did reach out to Taylor today, and talked to her, and let her know that we heard her concerns, and wanted her to know that we were making changes,” Cue told Re/CODE. “She was thrilled to hear from us and that we were making the change, and we were grateful for that.”

Early Monday, following a show in Amsterdam, Swift tweeted a response.

Apple could not be immediately reached to confirm that the company backs Cue’s statements on Twitter.

Apple has said it would offer music fans a three-month free trial period, followed by subscriptions plans of $9.99 for individuals or $14.99 for family plans.

However, it was not clear whether Cue’s move persuaded Swift to allow Apple Music to stream “1989” when it launches next week.