Taylor Swift brands Spotify a ‘start up with no cash flow’ as she explains story behind Apple letter

Pop singer also reveals how Jay Z helped her to make friends with Kanye West

Taylor Swift has discussed the letter she wrote to Apple Music as well as how she mended her relationship with Kanye West in a new interview.

Swift appears on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair and has spoken candidly in the accompanying interview about the night she wrote an open letter to Apple in which she criticised the company for not offering artists any royalties on music streamed by customers using a free trial. The company soon changed tact and thanked Swift for helping them see the error of their ways.

The quick response impressed Swift and she went on to let her album ‘1989’ be streamed on Apple Music. The move was seen as significant following her refusal to stream the album elsewhere and the decision to remove her music from Spotify in 2014 in a row over royalty rates.


“Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about,” Swift says in the Vanity Fair interview before going on to dismiss Spotify. “And I found it really ironic that the multi-billion-dollar company reacted to criticism with humility, and the start-up with no cash flow reacted to criticism like a corporate machine.”

Swift added that nobody saw her letter to Apple before she printed it except one member of her family. “I read it to my mom,” she said. “She’s always going to be the one. I just said, ‘I’m really scared of this letter, but I had to write it. I might not post it, but I had to say it.’”

“The contracts had just gone out to my friends, and one of them sent me a screenshot of one of them,” she added. “I read the term ‘zero percent compensation to rights holders.’ Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and I’ll write a song and I can’t sleep until I finish it, and it was like that with the letter.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Swift explained how Jay Z helped her become friends with Kanye West. The rapper caused upset by interrupting Swift during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where West took the microphone from the singer during her acceptance speech and declared that Beyonce should have won the Best Video award instead.

The pair are on better terms in recent times, with rumours circulating earlier this year of a collaboration.

“I feel like I wasn’t ready to be friends with [West] until I felt like he had some sort of respect for me, and he wasn’t ready to be friends with me until he had some sort of respect for me – so it was the same issue, and we both reached the same place at the same time,” Swift told the magazine.

“I became friends with Jay Z, and I think it was important, for Jay Z, for Kanye and I to get along… And then Kanye and I both reached a place where he would say really nice things about my music and what I’ve accomplished, and I could ask him how his kid’s doing.”

Despite their mutual respect, Swift distanced herself from the aforementioned reports of a possible reunion.

“We haven’t planned anything,” Swift added. “But, hey, I like him as a person. And that’s a really good, nice first step, a nice place for us to be.”