This week on AppleInsider: Apple Music royalty reversal, iPhone rumors, Confederate controversy & mo

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
News about Apple Music dominated the week, especially a decision to reverse course on trial royalties, but other items grabbing headlines included future iPhone plans, expanded Apple Watch sales, and deep controversy over a ban on Confederate flags in the App Store.


Apple Music to pay rights holders for trial streaming

In a surprise announcement last Sunday, Apple software and services chief Eddy Cue said that the company will indeed pay rights holders for music streamed during a listener's three-month free trial period.

The reversal appears to have been prompted by an open letter by pop artist Taylor Swift, as well as resistance by parties like indie label consortium Beggars Group. Many in the music industry were upset by the amount of money they stood to lose, especially given that services like Spotify pay rights holders for all tiers.

Apple is reportedly offering a per-track payment of 0.2 cents for trial streams, plus a smaller amount for publishers handling songwriting rights. Full royalties will kick in once a listener converts to a paid subscription.

The change was apparently enough to appease Swift -- whose latest album will be available on Apple Music -- as well as Beggars Group and another consortium, Merlin.

Future iPhones could build Touch ID into displays

Button-less iPhone concept via Martin Hajek.
Button-less iPhone concept via Martin Hajek.


Circulating rumors indicated that Apple may be planning to build a Touch ID sensor into the display of upcoming iPhones, potentially eliminating the need for a home button. This was corroborated by an AppleInsider source, although the person cautioned that such a change won't happen until at least 2017.

Evidence mounted later in the week when it was exposed that Apple had acquired a number of patents from Privaris, including ones for merging fingerprint sensors with touchscreens.

Lisa Jackson takes on government, social, education duties




Once just the head of Apple's environmental initiatives, Lisa Jackson on Tuesday gained extra responsibilities including social, educational, and government policy initiatives. The news emerged from a memo sent to Apple workers by CEO Tim Cook.

Jackson's background is mostly environmental, her previous job being Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. During her time at Apple, she has helped spearhead efforts to use renewable energy and mitigate some of Apple's resource consumption.

Apple bans use of Confederate flag in numerous App Store titles




Following in the path of retailers like Amazon and Walmart, Apple this week banned "offensive or mean-spirited" use of the Confederate battle flag in App Store titles, making an exception only for "educational or historical" purposes. Some Americans have called for the flag to be removed from stores and government buildings in the aftermath of racist killings at a church in South Carolina.

Apple quickly generated new controversy, however, as the move forced a number of Civil War-themed games off of the App Store, even though they included the flag solely for historical accuracy. The company is working with developers to get affected titles resubmitted, with some games makers seeing their titles return on Friday.

Apple Watch coming to Netherlands, Sweden, Thailand in July




Through quiet updates to its website, Apple revealed that three more countries -- Sweden, Thailand, and the Netherlands -- will get the Apple Watch on July 17. Base prices will be ?419 ($468) in the Netherlands, 3,995kr ($481) in Sweden, and 13,500 baht ($399) in Thailand.

On Friday Apple launched the Watch in several countries, namely Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan. The product only recently became available in physical Apple Stores instead of just online.

AppleInsider podcast

In the latest episode, Daniel Eran Dilger, Mikey Campbell, and Victor Marks come together to discuss iPhone rumors, CarPlay and HomeKit, and the latest Apple Music developments, including Beats 1 radio.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    buzdotsbuzdots Posts: 449member

    Overall a poor PR week for Apple.

    Make thoughtful decisions, not hasty.

  • Reply 2 of 6
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

     

    Overall a poor PR week for Apple.

    Make thoughtful decisions, not hasty.


     

    Only for people who frequent message boards and tech blogs. For the public, it's been generally a very good week, because of the Taylor Swift thing and how much positive PR that gave Apple Music, as well as indie labels signing on. The confederate flag thing was a pretty benign thing that no one really cared about except the people online that took it as an excuse to make noise and false outrage. 

  • Reply 3 of 6
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

    Taylor Swift thing and how much positive PR that gave Apple Music,

    Right, hundreds of articles in mainstream papers proclaiming how Swift "beat" the evil Apple was a good thing.

  • Reply 4 of 6
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    Right, hundreds of articles in mainstream papers proclaiming how Swift "beat" the evil Apple was a good thing.


     

    ..and the fact that she followed-up by strongly praising Apple while also announcing that her 1989 album would be available on Apple Music, as well as the fact that Apple was praised by pretty much everyone for its decision, was the main outcome and the lasting headline, eclipsing those previous ones. Not to mention it gave Apple Music so much publicity, it would have never gotten. 

     

    But of course, feel free to ignore that whole part, because it doesn't fit with your negative narrative. I know you're really upset about equality and all, and the fact that Tim took a couple seconds out of his day to tweet something you don't like, but please try to refrain from becoming a consistently negative troll because of this, and throwing all objectivity in the trash because of some childish vendetta you have against Cook. This is the exact same thing that happened to Benjamin Frost, and you can see the nasty troll he became. 

  • Reply 5 of 6
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    ..and the fact that she followed-up by strongly praising Apple while also announcing that her 1989 album would be available on Apple Music, as well as the fact that Apple was praised by pretty much everyone for its decision, . 


    Not from the media I saw. No one mentioned that Apple was gracious; they all said how Swift won and proved how powerful she is. The media doesn't print good press about Apple if they can help it.

  • Reply 6 of 6
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,860member
    I think between the Supreme Court rulings and the increasing likelihood that Greece will be kicked out of the EU, the upcoming Apple Music may have already been forgotten by the public. Apple will probably have to hit the airwaves hard on the day to remind people.
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