Taylor Swift gave Apple exclusive access to a video shot during the pop star’s recent concert tour.
Taylor Swift had a birthday present for her fans on Sunday.
Swift and Apple said Sunday that subscribers to Apple Music, Apple’s music-streaming service, will have exclusive access to a concert video shot during the pop’s star’s recently concluded world concert tour. The film, which will be released December 20, features on-stage performances as well as backstage scenes from a concert performed last month at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
“Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes,” Swift wrote on Sunday, her 26th birthday. “I have a little surprise for you.”
The deal deepens the strategic ties Apple and Swift have developed since the pair had a falling out this summer. The singer wrote a Tumblr blog post in June criticizing the Cupertino, California-based company’s decision to not make royalty payments to artists during a three-month free trial of Apple Music, the company’s then recently launched music streaming service.
Swift called the policy “shocking” and “disappointing” and threatened to withhold her blockbuster album “1989” from the streaming service. Later that day, Apple’s head of software and services, Eddy Cue, tweeted that the electronics giant would capitulate and pay all artists for every stream during the trial period.
The whirlwind drama was quickly resolved, but the conversation on social media between two of the biggest names in music revived a public debate about how streaming-music services treats artists. Musicians like Swift complain that streaming formats don’t compensate artists fairly.
Apple Music offers recommendations based on songs purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store, ripped from CDs or chosen on-demand from an online catalog of more than 30 million titles. The service also includes a 24/7 radio station called Beats 1 and a service called Connect, where artists can present themselves to fans and share songs directly to their iPhones.
Since Apple Music launched in June, 6.5 million people have signed on as paying subscribers, CEO Tim Cook said in October, with another 8.5 million people participating in the music service’s 90-day free trial. By comparison, rival music service Spotify has 25 million paid members and another 50 million who listen for free.
Terms of the deal were not revealed. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.