Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise appearance on BBC’s “Big Night In” fundraiser on Thursday to reveal the company is waiving fees on the U.K. public broadcaster’s charity single “Times Like These.”
Speaking remotely from his home, Cook said the tech giant is dismissing all royalties on the single, which is a cover of the Foo Fighters song performed by artists including Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Hailee Steinfeld, Bastille and Jess Glynne.
“We’re also making a significant donation of our own to ‘The Big Night In’ and helping our customers across the U.K. join in by contributing from their devices,” said Cook.
“We’re deeply inspired not only by the strength and good humor of the British people, but also your empathy for one another and the neighbors beyond your shores,” Cook continued. “From our Apple family to yours, thank you for your generosity and your courage. Stay safe and stay well.”
The “Times Like These” single received its world premiere as part of “Big Night In,” which drew an average audience of 6.7 million (35% audience share) across a three-hour broadcast and peaked with 8.5 million.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins also appear in the video, and Grohl was later interviewed with Dua Lipa as part of the program.
Apple’s donation to the BBC, the amount of which is as yet unclear, comes weeks after the U.K. rolled out a new digital sales tax that sees multi-national tech giants such as Apple, with worldwide revenues exceeding £500 million ($616.9 million) — and with more than £25 million ($30.8 million) of revenues derived from U.K. users — taxed 2% against sales out of the country. The new tax went into effect April 1.
In January, Apple posted revenues of $91.8 billion for its first quarter ending December 28, 2019. Around 25% of its global sales came from Europe, amounting to $23.2 billion.