By Jonathan Keane
Less than two weeks after it’s unveiling, Apple Music is already on the receiving end of some harsh criticism over its business model and payment policy for musicians. Once the dust had seemingly settled on the company’s acclaimed launch event, Taylor Swift, a staunch opponent of Spotify’s free tier, also called out Apple on its free trial basis where artists would go unpaid for a three month period in conjunction with a free trail for customers.
Taylor Swift wasn’t the first to raise concern over Apple Music and it’s payment plan for contributing artists. A number of indie labels also chimed in describing the corporation’s payment policy as “kind of a raw deal” but Swift, through her high profile, has become a voice of sorts for fairer deals in streaming services.
The hype and bluster of the service’s announcement has officially died down now. Apple’s early drama over payment encapsulates, that despite all its promises of a better service, the company has entered a minefield that will not be easy to navigate. However in a strange turn of events, Apple’s quick response to Swift may endear it to more artists and show that this streaming service is happy to listen to it’s artist’s concerns.
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Apple Music will officially launch on June 30th and much like Tidal, it will continue facing all the obstacles that come with launching a music streaming service. As the most powerful corporation on the planet, Apple is in a favourable position to make their music streaming service the best in the business. However the issues Apple Music are inevitably going to face may not lie in the quality of their app, instead they now have a world watching to see just how much they are willing to fork out to artists.
It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how Spotify, the current number one in this rat race, responds to Apple’s bold moves. Much like Apple’s new streaming service Spotify has faced criticism regarding unfair payment of it’s artists too. Swift of course is the most well known artist to publicly remove her music off the site but everyone from Thom Yorke to much lesser known indie acts have criticised the company for it’s unfair treatment of artists too.
Users and the industry alike have lacked a well-rounded view of how these large streaming services actually wok. It is obvious that Taylor Swift’s actions have prompted serious change in the music streaming industry but we can’t help to wonder will free tier streaming cut it anymore? With artist becoming increasingly brave the real question is perhaps will new users be willing to pay to avail of these music services?