Taylor Swift Makes Apple Pay Artists for Music Subscription Trial Period


Taylor Swift 1989

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

We are big fans of Taylor Swift. Swift is one of the biggest music talents on the planet at the moment. The other thing we like about her besides her music? She knows what she’s worth and the influence she wields across the entertainment industry. This is well exemplified by her actions over the last few months. She pulled her music from Spotify as a protest at the “peanuts” she was receiving and that her music was being given out for free. While Spotify came clean about the ordeal and cleared the air, her music has never been available for streaming to the service’s over 60 million subscribers. Yet that never stopped 1989 from topping the charts.

Apple Music, Apple’s own streaming service, goes public on June 30th. It will charge individual subscribers $9.99 and families $14.99. It has been hailed as a game-changer by many due to the way Apple is positioning it. Music streaming is not a new thing but Apple has a reputation in being late to the party but outperforming everyone else when it finally arrives. This is thanks in part to the way the company does things. For starters, it will be availing Apple Music in more countries than the likes of Spotify are and a huge bonus as well: a free three month subscription. While Apple Music won’t have a free tier like Spotify does (and this accounts for a majority of Spotify’s subscribers anyway), it is hoping that the three month free trial will lock in users and convert them into loyal subscribers who will stick with the service month-to-month.

While details of the agreements between music content creators and Apple have not been made public, it is emerging that the company was not planning on paying the artists and their record labels over that period. This did not go down well with them and irked some like Ms Swift to act, eer, swiftly. In a blunt post on her Tumblr, Swift writes about the proposition:

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.

She goes on:

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.

Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.

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. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

There. The young lady had done it again! Called things as she saw them.

Apple responded swiftly ( 🙂 ) and revised its terms: it will now pay music content creators in those three months of the free-trial!

Here are the tweets from Eddy Cue:

Swift’s reaction? This, maybe? Eddy Cue Dancing GIF - Apple Music She sent this out:

Taylor Swift managed to call out Apple when it was evident none of the other superstars would and with just a single Tumblr post did the unthinkable: managed to get Apple to go back on its resolutions. That is a good thing to an entire industry. We just hope she settles things with Apple soon and we get Style, Blank Space and the other hits from 1989 on Music when it becomes available in a couple of weeks. 1989 is not available on rival streaming services like Rdio, Tidal and even Beats Music thanks to Swift and her record label withholding it. Getting it on Apple Music could make all the difference.