Open letter reveals bad blood between Taylor Swift and Apple
Taylor Swift last night published an open letter to Apple, criticising the company's intention to not pay musicians royalties during Apple Music's three month free trial period.
"I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free three month trial to anyone who signs up for the service," wrote Swift on her Tumblr. "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."
While the remainder of her discography will be available on Apple Music, Swift will be holding back her latest album 1989 from Apple's new service because of this. Swift's music is also available for streaming on Rdio and Tidal, but 1989 is likewise missing.
Many consider the album's absence a major blow to Apple Music, with some expecting that the company would be able to secure the streaming rights to elusive material thanks to its long history with the industry. The Beatles discography, sold exclusively online via iTunes, will also be absent from Apple Music.
Swift says that her objections are "not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child", rather the sentiments of artists, writers and producers in her circle who are afraid to speak up.
"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."
"Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing," wrote Swift. "We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."
Swift's concerns follows a similar open letter from Beggars Group, an independent label representing artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Jack White, Vampire Weekend and Tyler the Creator.
"We are naturally very concerned, especially for artists releasing new albums in the next three months, that all streaming on the new service will be unremunerated until the end of September," wrote Beggars Group In an open letter published on its website. "Whilst we understand the logic of [Apple’s] proposal and their aim to introduce a subscription-only service, we struggle to see why rights owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple’s customer acquisition costs."