“In case you’re wondering if this is some exclusive deal like you’ve seen Apple do with other artists, it’s not,” Swift tweeted. “This is simply the first time it’s felt right in my gut to stream my album. Thank you, Apple, for your change of heart.”
Swift prompted that change of heart with a widely circulated Tumblr post last week that criticized Apple’s decision to not pay artists and musicians full royalties during a user’s free, three-month trial of the service. At the time, Swift said she would hold 1989 back from Apple Music, as she had from other streaming services, most notably Spotify.
While Swift, as she acknowledged, wouldn’t be affected by the lack of royalties, she wrote, “This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.” For similar reasons, Apple Music had been unable to secure licensing agreements with independent labels like XL and Matador, which are part of the Beggars Group.
Within a day of Swift’s open letter, Apple reversed its decision, with Senior Vice President Eddy Cue tweeting, “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.” On Wednesday, Beggars Group, other indie labels and the digital rights organization Merlin Network finally agreed to terms with Apple.
“This is really simple — if artists believe we’re not paying, because we’re not paying for it directly, and there was an indirect way we negotiated, and that doesn’t work, then we wanted to fix it,” Cue told Rolling Stone. “We wanted for it to be the right thing for the artists.”