In what can only be construed as a bizarre turn of events, an open letter to Apple from Taylor Swift over the weekend prompted Apple to do an about-face regarding Apple Music and royalty payments.
If you recall, Apple reversed course and announced on Sunday that it would, in fact, pay artists for music listened to during Apple Music's three-month trial period. In light of Apple's acquiescence, Swift announced early on Thursday that her album '1989' would be made available on Apple's upcoming music service.
After the events of this week, I've decided to put 1989 on Apple Music...and happily so.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 25, 2015
While this may not seem like the biggest of deals, it's rather significant as Apple Music has an uphill battle to claim as it attempts to take on industry incumbents like Spotify and Pandora. To that end, Apple is reportedly keen on securing artist exclusives and otherwise ensuring that its music library is much more varied than competing services.
In this regard, Swift's announcement is a major score for Apple, especially given that Swift removed her music from Spotify a few months ago. It's also been reported that Apple is hoping to get Kanye West's upcoming album 'Swish' to debut as an Apple Music exclusive.
Apple Music is set to go live on June 30 and will provide listeners with a free worldwide radio station dubbed Beats 1. The on-demand streaming option will cost users $10/month after the aforementioned free three-month trial period.