Apple Music has reversed its payment policy, a day after the singer Taylor Swift said she was refusing to allow the company to stream her album 1989.
In an open letter to Apple, Swift said she was withholding the record as she was unhappy with the three-month free trial offered to subscribers. Now Apple says it will pay artists for music streamed during trial periods. Swift had said the plan was "unfair", arguing Apple had the money to cover the cost. Taylor Swift said: "We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."
Adrian Weckler, of Independent Newspapers, explains that Apple Music is the new music streaming service which Apple has launched to rival companies like Spotify and Tidal. He says that Apple is essentially bringing its own iTune service into an online streaming age. Unlike other competitors, Apple Music is a paid only service and it has no free tier and it also offers a much longer free trial period of three months. The technology journalist says this is the key issue to the row with Taylor Swift. It is standard practice not to pay the musicians for the free trial but the length of the Apple free trial was a cause of concern.
Mr Weckler says that Taylor Swift had already withdrawn her catalogue from Spotify over a similar issue and is part of a musician revolt against online streaming services. He says that Swift's stand against Spotify was very well covered and she has become something of an icon in the industry. The only other bands before her to take such a stand included the likes of The Beatles and AC/DC. But on the other hand, he says the stand-down by Apple is not the start of a sea-change in the industry because online streaming - for better or for worse - is probably artists' best hope of making money from the industry and their best hope against piracy.
MORNING BRIEFS - The Evros Technology Group is going to create 100 jobs, bringing staff numbers to 250 this year. The company - which used to be called Hivernia Evros and was set up in the early 90s - is based in Cherrywood business park in Dublin with regional offices in Cork, Waterford and Kildare. Half of the new jobs will be in Dublin and the other 50 will be split between the regional offices and it's looking for managed services staff, cloud technology and IT recruitment divisions.
*** Greece faces a critical 24 hours as European leaders gather for an emergency summit in Brussels that could break the deadlock around the country's debt crisis. Yesterday the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out new proposals to try to prevent a default on a €1.6 billion IMF loan. Greece must repay the loan by the end of June or risk crashing out of the single currency and possibly the EU. Talks have been in deadlock for five months, with the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank unwilling to unlock the final €7.2 billion in bailout funds until Greece agrees to economic reforms they want to see introduced. The three creditors must agree to the deal offered by Greece to ensure today's talks have a clear focus.
*** One of the biggest credit card operators in the Irish market, AvantCard - which used to be MBNA - is putting up its interest rates by almost a third. The rates it charges on purchases are going up from 17.9% to 22.9% for some of its customers. This comes just two years after a similar-sized increase. The Spanish company took over MBNA's Irish card operations in 2012. It says the increase is based on the current economic conditions, and in a letter to customers AcantCard said that those who did not want to accept the new, higher rates should pay off the balance owed and close their account within two months.