In a recent interview with the London Evening Standard, Apple’s Jimmy Iovine shed some interesting new light on how the company handled pop superstar Taylor Swift’s “love letter” regarding artist compensation during Apple Music’s free trial period.
Back in June, before Apple Music’s official launch, Swift published an open letter on her Tumblr page criticizing the decision to not compensate artists during the service’s three-month trial period for new users. Earlier this week, Swift said she was surprised about how quickly Apple reacted to her letter.
But according to Iovine, it didn’t take a huge amount of discussion for Apple to change its stance:
“Eddy [Cue, Apple senior VP] woke up on Sunday morning,” says Iovine. “He called me and said, ‘This is a drag’. I was like, ‘Yeah, maybe there’s some stuff she doesn’t understand’. He said, ‘Why don’t you give Scott [Borchetta, Swift’s label boss] a call? I called Scott, I called Eddy back, Eddy and Tim [Cook, Apple CEO] called me back and we said, ‘Hey, you know what, we want this system to be right and we want artists to be comfortable, let’s do it’.”
The music mogul – who has worked with iconic artists like John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen – also talked highly of Zane Lowe, who is heading up the 24/7 online radio station Beats 1:
“What he’s done in 19 weeks shouldn’t have been possible,” he says. Was it easy to convince Lowe to leave London? “It wasn’t easy but that was my job and I come from a world of knowing when someone is special.”
Earlier today, Apple announced that 11 million users have signed up for its streaming service so far. But it’s yet to be seen how many listeners will actually pay, which will cost $9.99 per month or $14.99 monthly for a family plan of up to six users.
To compare, industry leader Spotify currently has 20 million paid users worldwide after launching in 2008.
While I’m still not fully convinced whether I’ll be making the switch from Spotify, my colleague Bryan M. Wolfe talked more about his experience with Apple Music earlier today. And I do agree with his assessment that deep integration in the Apple ecosystem is the service’s top selling point, for now.