Taylor Swift has already made her feelings about music streaming services pretty clear, and blocked Apple Music from offering her hit new album 1989. But in a new blog post, the singer labels the service “shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike” Apple.
Despite describing Apple as “one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans,” Swift is unhappy with the company’s three-month free trial for Apple Music, which allows new users to enjoy as much music as they like without paying a single penny.
“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.”
The Shake It Off singer adds that the rant “is not about me,” but about new artists and bands who have just been given their big break 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,” Swift continues, “but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.”
Swift insists that every other artist, writer, and producer in her social circles feels the same way about Apple Music’s free trial, but adds many are afraid to speak out because they “admire and respect Apple so much.”
Despite her strong feelings about the move, Swift admires Apple’s goal of getting users to pay for music streaming — unlike many rival services, which offer completely free plans. But she adds that a company with Apple’s resources should be able to compensate music creators for their work — even if the user is enjoying it free for a limited time.
“I think this could be the platform that gets it right,” Swift concludes. “But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this.”
There’s no doubt that Apple Music’s three-month trial period will persuade tens of millions of people to sign up for the service — and to switch from rival streaming services. And a good percentage of those will go on to pay the $9.99 monthly fee to continue using it.
It will almost certainly make Apple Music the largest music streaming service in an incredibly short space of time, then, and in the long run, that’s only going to benefit music creators. A recent report revealed 71.5% of Apple Music revenue will be paid straight to music owners.
But it’s not too difficult to see why creators aren’t too happy about having to offer their work for free in the meantime to make Apple Music a quick success. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” Swift says.
“Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”