Taylor Swift's "1989" Album Added to Apple Music After Company Reverses Policy on Paying Rights-Holders

Amanda Lai

by Amanda Lai

Published June 26, 2015


Apple will be launching their new music streaming service on June 30th. Leading up to the launch, there has been quite a bit of controversy as the company planned to offer a three month free trial and not pay any rights-holders during that time. Now, the computer company has turned the questionable policy and bad publicity around completely thanks to a little help from Taylor Swift.

In a recent open letter to Apple explaining concerns of their new streaming service, Swift caught the attention of millions and changed the course of the music industry.

"I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music." From there, the 25-year-old pop sensation wrote about how she respects the generous company, but she is disheartened and disappointed that their new streaming service will not compensate writers, producers, or artists for the first three months.

She explains that the concern isn't about herself because luckily, she is able to support her whole team by performing live shows. Her worries lie within the young artists and producers who will not get paid for all of their tireless hard work. "We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

The aftermath of this letter is surprisingly simple; Apple changed their policy to assure that artists, writers, labels, and producers will get paid during the three month free trial. Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, showed his support and confirmed the company's decision through several tweets pictured below.

After Apple's announcement, Swift tweeted, "I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us." As a result, she will be licensing her album 1989 to Apple Music, making it the first and only streaming service to have it.

Swift wasn't the only one who made a difference. Cue explained to The Hollywood Reporter, "We've been hearing a lot of concern from indie artists about not getting paid during the three-month trial period, which was never our intent... But when I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change."

Beggars Group, along with other significant independent record labels, have also announced that they signed licensing agreements with Apple after the company publicized that they would pay artists during their three-month free trial of Apple Music. “We are now delighted to say that we are happy to endorse the deal with Apple Music as it now stands, and look forward to being a big part of a very exciting future," Beggars said in statement.

Apple Music will also be the only place to hear a new song by Pharrell Williams, which will go live when the platform launches on the 30th. Leading up to the Apple Music launch, Apple has been very flexible in working with stakeholders to negotiate a fair deal that is beneficial for all.

Apple Music are still planning to offer a three month free trial. For more info, go to

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