Swift knew Apple was in trouble (Image: Chad Batka/NYT/Redux/Eyevine)

BABY, now we’ve got bad blood. When mega pop star Taylor Swift complains, you’d better listen. This week, tech giant Apple bowed to Swift after she complained its upcoming streaming service was unfair on artists.

Earlier this month, Apple unveiled an app called Apple Music, an audio streaming service with a monthly subscription fee. It will be launched on the iPhone at the end of June, when it will compete with Spotify, Pandora and others.

It had already seen a backlash from indie labels, which complained that Apple wasn’t going to pay artists or producers for the music played during three-month free trials for new users.

On Sunday, Swift joined the chorus of critics with an open letter online, calling the decision “shocking” and saying she would withhold her latest album, 1989, from Apple Music. “Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing,” she wrote.

Streaming services are already tough on artists. A single play on a popular app like Spotify or Pandora earns them only a fraction of a cent. Jay-Z’s Tidal, meanwhile, charges higher prices for better-quality audio and claims to pay artists more.

Hours after Swift published her letter, Apple capitulated, announcing that it would pay artists during the free trial period after all.

“We hear you, [Taylor Swift],” tweeted Eddie Cue, a senior vice-president at Apple.

This article appeared in print under the headline “Taylor shakes off Apple”

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