Taylor Swift writes open letter to Apple Music: ‘We don’t ask you for free iPhones’

Swift's '1989' will not be on Apple Music when the streaming service launches on June 30

Taylor Swift has written an open letter to Apple Music criticising the new streaming service as ‘unfair’ and ‘disappointing.’

UPDATE: Apple Music agrees to pay artists during three-month free trial following Taylor Swift’s criticism

Yesterday (June 20), a spokesperson for the pop star confirmed that her album ‘1989’ would not appear on the service when it launches on June 30.


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Swift has explained this decision in an open letter to Apply Music, titled ‘To Apple, Love Taylor’ published on her Tumblr page today (June 21).

“I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music,” Swift begins.

“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.”

Swift goes on to explain that though she is in a position where those three months will not affect her ability to make a living, the decision not to pay artists for three months is incredibly damaging to new and emerging acts.

“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.”


Explaining that her thoughts are echoed by artists, writers and producers in her social circle “afraid to speak up publicly” due to their admiration and respect for the company, she continues:

“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.”

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“It’s not too late to change this policy,” she concludes.

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

Swift removed the entirety of her back catalogue off Spotify last year.

Taylor Swift headlines London’s Hyde Park on June 27. Swift will appear at the British Summer Time Festival on a bill which also includes performances from Ellie Goulding and John Newman.

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