As you may have heard, Apple Music will be offering all users a 3-month free trial when the streaming service launches on June 30th.
What you may not know, is that during those three months Apple will not be paying ANY royalties to artists, labels, or publishers.
Taylor Swift, like many artists, feel that’s wrong — especially for a company with Apple’s bank account.
While most artists have remained silent on the issue, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter explaining why she decided to pull her album 1989 from the service.
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. 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.
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.
I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out
It’s a bold move, but if anyone can get Apple to re-think their plan — it’s Taylor Swift. You can read her full letter here.