Taylor Swift may have announced she was shaking off Apple Music last week, but today she published an open letter to Apple explaining in more detail why her hit “1989” album won’t be joining the other 30 million songs available on Apple’s streaming music service when it launches.
“I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service,” Swift writes. “I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.”
Swift goes on to argue that:
“This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.
These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.”
The “Shake it off” songstress ends her letter by saying that it’s not too late for Apple to reverse its decision and agree to absorb the costs of its three-month free Apple Music trial. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” Swift says. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
As one of the biggest music stars in the world — whose “1989” album has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide since its release last October — Swift’s concerns about Apple Music are sure to garner plenty of attention. She isn’t the only person to voice similar views, however. Last week, for example, the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) wrote that Apple’s three-month free trial is not “fair or equitable to independent music companies.”
Who knows? With Swift throwing her name in the anti-Apple Music hat, maybe Apple will reconsider its position for the sake of artists.
Either that or we’ve got a Tim Cook breakup song coming on the next Taylor Swift album…