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Taylor Swift explains why '1989' won't be streaming on Apple Music

Musician Taylor Swift has penned a post on Tumblr — titled "To Apple, Love Taylor" — explaining her decision to not allow her ridiculously successful "1989" album to stream on Apple Music.

The crux? The fact that for the first three months the streaming service will be free to users — and that artists won't be paid for what's streamed during that span. And that, the 25-year-old says, is "shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company."

And it's not even about her, she continues.

... 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.

Swift does leave room for reconciliation with Apple Music, however. "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," she writes.

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.

Source: taylorswift.tumblr.com

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days.

108 Comments
  • "It's not about her" means it's really all about her... Like saying "with all due respect" before dissing....
  • Bless your heart, how dare people make money.
  • +1 Sent from the iMore App
  • You are very wrong my friend. If the artist release a song and it becomes HIT it will get the best traffic in first 2 or 3 months (till people get tired of it).. So the artist will get nothing from his first big song (and maybe last so popular). Just remember when Call me maybe came out of nowhere.. They are right, Apple is rich enough to compensate the free period. It would be better if they make it 1 month free and pay to artist from their own pocket. I was thinking the same at first about TS, that she is All about the money, but for new artist this is Big..
  • I agree the 3 month trial period is too long, it should be 1 month max. I think artists should also make a stand against the amount of illegal music posted on YouTube. This must also hurt artists. See below for the Taylor Swift 1989 album https://youtu.be/X1rizl2OoJE
    https://youtu.be/SVWPsOSCpoY
    https://youtu.be/8QP1LcEzghY Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Wrong, wrong, wrong. She's got plenty of money. She's a good person. She's looking out for other artists and the business. Sent from the iMore App
  • As big as an Apple fanboy I am, I have to agree with Taylor on this. Apple has enough $$ in the coffers to do right for everyone and come out way ahead. Sent from the iMore App
  • She is right. There are enough people bending over for apple. Nice to see someone stand up to them. I am really looking forward to apple music and I will probably ditch Spotify for it but asking artists to take a three month hit is wrong. Sent from the iMore App
  • "It's not about me but about the young artist, songwriter, and producer" lol. First of all, what any "young" music professional needs is exposure. They will get this since Apple Music will automatically be on millions of devices. Secondly, there songs will still be available for purchase on iTunes which pays them royalties. Third, they can also be a part of other streaming services that pay royalties and do not have the 3 month "no pay" period. Lastly, this is all about Taylor and money. She is worth $200 million and still isn't satisfied with the royalties she collects from streaming. Sent from the iMore App
  • "She is worth $200 million and still isn't satisfied with the royalties she collects from streaming. "
    You say this like lots of artists are happy with the royalties they get from streaming. The difference between a lot of them and Taylor is she is one of the few artists who dictate to the label how she wants to do it vs others where the label dictate to the artists. That and she can afford to not accept what the streaming services offer while others need it for one reason or the other. One of the perks of being worth $200 million and having an album that can go platinum+in this climate of declining album sales.
  • Kind of like Apple is with carriers.....
  • Malfoy, you in same finance class as PortCity?
    You both got it all figured out, I can relax now.
  • Food on the table is a wee bit more important than exposure.
  • You just spent a whole paragraph giving perfect evidence that you don't know Jack Shit about the music industry and you're just another faithfully blinded Apple-sheep! That makes you part of a very unique crowd of Apple users that number more than a billion. You're not special.
  • I'm a self-admitted Apple Fanboy but I do have to agree with Swift on this. While she probably doesn't need the money, it's the point. Apple should not get to stream anyone's music for free. Either they pay the artists during the free trial period, or change it to a week. Most people will know after seven days if they want the service. Surely Apple can spring for 7 days of compensation.
  • Another option would be to only let a single device stream a specific song X times during the trial period. New artists do need exposure, but they also need some money. Sent from the iMore App
  • You can't pay the rent with "exposure".
  • Sorry to derail your comment because I do agree with you, but when I read it, all I could think of is exposing yourself is a good way to get free rent in jail. Sent from the iMore App
  • Having personally known several people that have tried to get started in music, I've got to say that the parroted sentiment, "what they need is exposure!" is like telling the fledgeling chef that "no publicity is bad publicity" after the local paper said that his restaurant sucks. What any young musician needs is to eat food and have a house and clean clothes. Perhaps what you're really saying is that they need to be exposed and would make more money modeling? Otherwise your sentiment simply blasts your credibility into the stone age. Thanks for commenting! :D
  • WOW!
    Majored in business did you?
  • I think her points are very valid. Apple should find a different way to provide 3 months trial for free and still pay the artists for their work they have done. Maybe Apple can put a "Appreciate" button when a song is playing and people can donate money to artists (and their team). Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm not a fan of her music, but I don't need to be in order to realize she is right. I like free stuff as much as the next person, but three months is a ridiculous amount of time for a trial. A person can generally have an idea whether or not they like a service in a week. I know I wouldn't appreciate working without pay for three months. Especially when there's really no good reason for it.
  • What's 3 months free for someone worth 200million when she's making millions on that 3 month period. Ain't like is going to be free forever. Like hello, this is just a promotion regardless her album will be bought on iTunes. Ain't like is free. So why cry!!! Sent from the iMore App
  • She acknowledges herself that she herself doesn't need the money. And her album is beyond needing any form of promotion. She's taking a stand for music artists as a whole, and not trying to line her own pockets.
  • read much?
  • Can't take anyone who says "like hello" "ain't like is free" or "so why cry!!!" seriously.
  • You're not very bright, are you? Sent from the iMore App
  • As much as I try, I can't see her point. Why is she then on Spotify?
  • Last I recall, she's not on Spotify.
  • She's not on Spotify, she removed her music from them after a similar grievance. Sent from the iMore App
  • Go to work for the next 3 months for free so a 3rd party can see if they like your work and then maybe you'll understand. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Funny you say that, I've worked on the technical side of broadcasting for almost three decades, and I've done exactly that for a shot at a particular job - and not as an intern either.
  • She is not on Spotify Sent from the iMore App
  • She is right Sent from the iMore App
  • She's not on Spotify, none of her music is. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm thinking those young aspiring artist will love the royalties afforded by Apple after the free 3 month trial. I can't help but wonder if Taylor gave this much thought.
  • She is wrong. It’s a choice. Don’t want to give your work away free for three months? Don’t sign up until AFTER the three month trial period. Stick with Spotify and the others until you can get paid on Apple Music. So many of you clowns are predicting an epic fail for Apple Music anyway because it doesn’t have a free, ad supported tier. Spotify is so much better you say and nobody is going to switch. People are acting like these indie artists are going to starve to death if they don’t get paid right away. Well, Apple Music doesn’t even exist yet so how have they been surviving until today? Now that Apple is so big they suddenly have the obligation to not compete, not to be aggressive, not to seek deals that favor the company, not to make as much money? Really? This trial period is marketing genius and will entice millions to at least try it out.
  • You do realize that, using your logic, the artist still suffers. Not putting your work out results in you not getting paid. Putting your work out results in you not getting paid. Sent from the iMore App
  • I may be wrong but I think it is 3 months free for the user from when you sign up , not 3 free months from the 30/6/15 so effectively if I sign up on 30th June artists don't get royalties for the music I steam during the period to the 30/9, if I stream a song on 1/10 then they get paid, depending on how long the free 3 month offer lasts if you sign up on 31/7 your 3 months is to 31/10 so artist don't get paid for the music you stream during that period. Thanks Sent from the iMore App
  • I agree. I understood it to be 3 free months from whenever an account pushes the free trial button. Sent from the iMore App
  • I understood it to be june 30 for everyone regardless. If a new account triggers 90 days what's to stop people from creating new apple ID's every 90 days?
  • Another finance major.
    Must be all Canandians
  • Funny how this article really shows that Apple fans cannot think objectively at all. If Apple sold poison purple koolaid for $20 per paper cup, we'd have dead Apple fans everywhere. Even if Apple told them it was poison!
  • Please stop trying to pit Apple fans against Apple haters. Many Apple fans agree with Taylor Swift. The assertion that Apple fans can't think objectively is both baseless and insulting. Sent from the iMore App
  • It has nothing to do with how much Taylor makes. You deserve to be paid for your work, period. Whether you are digging ditches, developing software, or writing and producing music, if you work for it you deserve to be paid. If your work is done poorly you will not continue to be paid. Think about it this way; would you work for free for 3 months? And yes, I understand that there are other sources of distribution other than Apple's new streaming service, but Apple is still asking artists to work for free. Taylor simply had the guts to stand up to Apple, yes because she can afford to, but I say good for her. Sent from the iMore App
  • Would you work for free for 3 months?
    Yes actually. Its called an internship and usually leads to much better things. Sent from the iMore App
  • Would you do an internship if you were already a leading expert in your field? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Understandable, but thats not the point of what she is saying, shes saying shes doing it not for herself but for the new artists that are trying to make it. And i think apple will be fine to pay them something for the 3 months.
    But was just saying people working for no pay to start a career is not unheard of. Sent from the iMore App
  • Except the entire concept of an "unpaid internship" is actually NEW. For the most part, they didn't even *exist* outside of government until the early 2000's. They are a recent phenomenon of the United States economy only.
  • Also, the concept of an internship being unpaid annoys me. Pay them less? Fine. Pay them minimum wage? Okay I guess. Pay them nothing? No, that isn't right. I am a person that doesn't support higher Federal minimum wage, but unpaid internship is just wrong. Sent from the iMore App
  • "Except the entire concept of an "unpaid internship" is actually NEW. For the most part, they didn't even *exist* outside of government until the early 2000's. They are a recent phenomenon of the United States economy only." Ummm....I'm sorry, Gazoobee, but that is not true. Unpaid internships are anything but new. Back several decades, I had to do 3 unpaid internships during graduate school--the last one full time for a year. Why would I do that? Because of the future payoff for paying my dues. Just like a musician or band going on Apple Music. Not only that, but when I got my first entry-level job after college at age 23, I started coming in an hour early--unpaid--so I could sit in meetings (that I otherwise would not have been exposed to) with experienced people and watch and learn, not to mention show my dedication and talents. I did that for a year, and it really paid off. I often enjoy reading your comments and seeing your passion, whether I agree with your opinions or not, but sometimes I think you need to slow down and do a little research before you spout off. Just my 2 cents...
  • I would agree. I've known many lawyers who clerked for judges for free just to get the experience. Or work with a firm in the hopes of getting hired later. It's all about networking. You're getting "paid" in that way.
  • Bull. They existed in the early 90s when I was in college.
  • Only if you have the resources to support yourself.
    Come on use your heads for something besides a hat rack.
    Lots of idealists.
  • “And yes, I understand that there are other sources of distribution other than Apple’s new streaming service, but Apple is still asking artists to work for free." And that’s the key point. They are asking, not forcing. Nobody is twisting the idie’s arms to sign up. They are already on other steaming services making money. But they are apparently too shortsighted to realized they will make that money back and more in the long run.
  • I understand the point she is trying to make;however, I think that exposure is just as important for those young musicians. The real money in music nowadays is mostly from memorabilia sales and live shows. In business terms this would be considered a loss leader. Put your music out there and get max exposure during the free trial. In the end people will either pay for the service or cancel and hopefully buy your album and/or other merchandise. Businesses make decisions like this all the time. On the flip side since Apple has more cash then any company and many governments they could easily offer the trial period and still pay royalties Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple must be loving Taylor's letter. Great publicity! Sent from the iMore App
  • Aspiring musicians and bands will LOVE to get exposure for 3 months of the trial--worth its weight in gold on a huge platform like Apple's. These "not getting paid for their work" people don't just don't get it. For those artists already well known and bringing home lots of bacon, 3 months isn't a big deal.
  • Yes, aspiring musicians and bands would love the exposure. I'm sure they're really going to love it when Apple has taken their work for 3 months for no compensation. "Damn, a bit short on the rent this month - but hey someone likes my song!". Can you not see for the aspiring artists and smaller indie artists that it's a huge risk to give them their work for free when no-one knows how well the service is going to be received? Sent from the iMore App
  • "For exposure" is one of the most bs arguments ever when it comes to art. Everyone deserves to be paid for their work, no matter what it is or what it is for. We aren't talking about some startup here either. This is one of, if not the number one, richest company in history. I'm sure they could have found a way to work out artists getting paid for these three months
  • Y'all still don't get it. Just ask any musician/ band from before the days of the Internet and these music services: they would've killed to get so much potential exposure for a measly 3 months. People trying to come off as pro-artist against the big, rich corporation have no clue how the music industry works. New artists are already giving away music etc. for nothing at first for the exposure and to build an audience. Sheesh....
  • I just can't get past how a company can offer a free trial period and then give away someone else's product instead of their own. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Because that ‘someone else’ is doing it voluntarily, making a business decision to go with Apple’s offer. Apple isn’t going to make any money either during the trial period but will be spending millions and millions on advertising, promotions, marketing. And then there’s the cost of providing the service itself, the server farms, the personnel, etc.
  • With 37 million songs in the catalog, what kind of exposure any random band or singer will have?
  • Exactly. (You make my point--from another angle: if no exposure, then no loss of money, either. You can't have it both ways. I argue that the service gives them a greater chance of exposure than not being on it at all, however.)
  • .
  • I may be wrong but I think it is 3 months free for the user from when you sign up , not 3 free months from the 30/6/15 so effectively if I sign up on 30th June artists don't get royalties for the music I steam during the period to the 30/9, if I stream a song on 1/10 then they get paid, depending on how long the free 3 month offer lasts if you sign up on 31/7 your 3 months is to 31/10 so artist don't get paid for the music you stream during that period Sent from the iMore App
  • If this were her only method of income, then I would agree with her in full. I do think that three months is a long period, and if  were to cut it down to one month, then I think she might be inclined to submit. However, as much as I don't like this girl, she does have a point. Still, she does get paid in many other ways, and it is good publicity to offer her music on any  platform. I do have a question for those who are defending her here on iMore though: How many of you actually legally buy music? Because if you don't, and you download it like I am inclined to believe you do, then you are all pretty damn hypocritical.
  • Yes she does, but she acknowledges that. She's not doing it in protest of her situation, but of the morality (or lack thereof) behind it. Most artists, especially the aspiring or more niche, are not in her position. It's a stance to support those people. And your last point is utterly baseless. It reads "I've decided y'all download illegally anyway so what you say doesn't matter". Sent from the iMore App
  • The last "point" was more of a question, not really a point. I didn't "decide" anything. If you buy your music, then my comment doesn't pertain to you. Pretty simple Mr. Jones. You're reading too much into it.
  • You do make it sound like you believe the majority of posters don't legally buy music. Might not have been your intention, but that is how it read. Sent from the iMore App
  • Well, since you ask: I have downloaded "free" music in the distant past, more for the experience than anything else. But, over the last ten years I would say, not even once. Honestly. Thanks to Apple I'm no longer stuck buying an entire album to get one or two songs, and thanks to Apple I'm not forced into a subscription service - so far ... Which leads me to the question no one else seems to want to ask: Will I still be able to buy one song at a time? I sure hope so, because I rarely buy enough music in a year to justify paying a flat fee of almost $120/year. Cheers
  • I agree with you on that. I usually buy a song here and there, rarely an entire album. This service won't benefit me at all. Now my brother, he buys an album a week or more, so I could see it being useful for him... Except the data overages would eat him alive. Sent from the iMore App
  • I agree with her and the other musicians on this. To her point...would anyone in their right mind work without pay for three months? Personally, I don't need a three month gift to evaluate this service. I would be more than willing to take it for a spin at my own cost. I wouldn't do that with just any company...but Apple has earned my trust and I'm willing to risk $9.99 to see if their music service will meet my needs. While I appreciate the effort Apple is making...drawing the consumer in at the expense of the people and content that are the foundation of the service seems a bit questionable in my mind. In this situation, Apple would be wise to make the investment in the artist, without whom Apple music wouldn't exist.
  • Your last paragraph is on point. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Not a comment on the pay situation, but Tiffany and Debbie Gibson's entire catalogs will be on there, so I'm covered if that's the sound I want to hear.
  • If I were one of these indie artists, I jump at the opportunity Apple music offers. Nothing for three months after which hundreds of millions of Apple Music users potentially streaming my music for which I will be paid. During the three months I'll rely on current revenue streams, although yes, potentially reduced by Apple Music. If I don't have any other revenue streams then how will I be worse off? Sent from the iMore App
  • She's fundamentally right. She also has a right to look out for her hard-earned interests, no matter how much she's worth, or will be worth. (Maybe I'd be worth $200,000,000 if I did a better job of that, specifically.) But, in the process of looking out for her personal interests, she's also making a valid point on behalf of those still trying to get to the $200mil. mark. As an aside, I'm grateful that Mz. Swift found a way to say what she meant that did not resort to overt and over-the-top, mean-spiritedness. First try being honest and respectful, then get mean if you have to. If only we'd all subscribe to these tactics, I wonder how much more would be accomplished - sooner and with less bloodshed.
  • Here's my question. Why isn't Apple footing the bill for this trial? After all, they're the ones who will profit from the service if it succeeds. And it isn't like they don't have the cash lying around to do it. Sent from the iMore App
  • I also kind of wondered this. Since before Tim, and continuing on with Tim, Apple has generally done such a good job of getting things done without using a wrecking ball, that it does make me wonder why they didn't opt to continue they're, sometimes over-the-top, nice-way-out methodologies on this one. The PR could've been huge. They'd have the press looking for back-alley hand shakes and general underhandedness because, "... nobody's that nice ...", and etc. On the other hand, business is business and from an inside POV it does not always make sense to go the "nicer" way.
  • Because, like every other company in the world, Apple wants to make and keep as much of their money as possible. Their first priority is to make money and keep it. That's it. Posted from the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • To all those idiots spitting the "but she's worth 200 million!" line ... you're forgetting that Apple is also rich. The richest f*cking company on the planet in fact. And Eddy Cue and Tim Cook and all those guys that approved the deal? They are some of the richest f*cking individuals on the planet. She's peanuts in comparison. There is literally NO excuse for quoting about how "rich" Taylor Swift is. It just shows you up as being blinded by Apple. It's a completely invalid argument. Secondly, EVERYBODY DESERES TO GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK. Apple knows this because it pays it's employees the highest f*cking salaries on the planet. Apple is a company of creators (they say) and no one knows more than a creative how people try to get you to work for free, for "exposure" and what a raw deal it is. I've even read long blog posts by ex-Apple employees over the years to this effect. About how they got screwed over by people forcing them to work for free, but then they joined Apple and got fairly recompensed almost for the first time. For Apple not to pay the artists (if that is in fact happening), is just hugely hypocritical. More evidence of the "new" Apple IMO.
  • Go with out pay for 3 months to later get millions? I'll give 3 months of my time (may not be millions but she will get a ton of money in royalties). She's a greedy witch. Sent from the iMore App
  • You obviously didn't read her statement in full... Taylor Swift can no doubt bite the bullet and go without pay on this one if she so chose to. But its for all the other artists that aren't as successful as her. The little guys can't stand up to a company like Apple because Apple won't make a lot of money on the less successful artists. Someone like Taylor who is highly successful can stand up to Apple and can make a difference because Apple could make money off of her in the future. Oh and by the way, she deserves to get paid for her music. Who cares if she has all the money in the world already. You wouldn't work for 3 months for free for your boss, would you? Posted from the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • Comments like yours are really fucking boring and ruining these forums. The same blinded by Apple crap a lot of others spout every time someone expresses an opinion not condemning Apple. Spouting utter bollocks about people being unable to hold objective views on Apple. If artists don't want to be part of the plan that's their choice. If you or anyone else wants to sign up or not thats again your choice, and if Apple wants to make money just like every other company on Earth that's their choice. Another choice a lot of people seem to make is to hate Apple yet devote a lot of time on a site called iMore. Fucking weird. Sent from the iMore App
  • It's not like apple is making them sign
  • And that's exactly why she isn't "signing." She doesn't have to, and I don't blame her. Posted from the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • Having grown up working in bars, I can't tell you how many times I have been approached by "up & coming" bands that have offered to play for free or a free bar tab (getting drunk while playing music & picking up girls does not pay the rent or put food on the table either). Any one of these bands would have given their left nuts to have their music in millions of people's pockets. They literally (in the literal sense of the word) would have paid to have the exposure. Three months may seem like a long time before getting paid but I can guarantee you that anyone saying that in this comment section has not tried to start & run their own business. Three months is nothing. Musicians do not just pick up an instrument one day, learn to play, form a band (with other musicians who just picked up an instrument for the first time that day), write an album worth of songs, record those songs, print those songs, MARKET the album, MARKET themselves, play tons of shows (many times for free), & then become Taylor Swift rich on the second day (or three months later). Yes, people do deserve to get paid for their work. However, the people commenting here that are jumping on the Tay train have ab-so-lutely no clue what musicians go through to get exposure & "make it" in the industry. Three months is simply part of the costs of doing business in an industry that wouldn't have imagined this amount of exposure for a new musician 10-15 years ago.
  • You are so right on with this. The whole you deserve to get paid for work is a joke. Musicians are basically starting their own company. Pretty much every company looses money the first months or years even. So you are literally working for less than free. You have to pay to work. Also if you need to market your company (or music) you have to pay for that too. Again, less than free. But you do it because you believe in yourself and that the payoff and being your own boss is worth it. So you do all of this, with the HOPE of making $ in the future to offset the costs you paid. No guarantees though. So Apple basically created a platform (Apple music) that they spent $ on to develop. For the provilage of putting your music up on site, you don't get paid for 3 months, but after you get royalties and exposure. Sounds like a no brainer to me? Oh also you are aware you are not getting paid for 3 months anyway? So might as well put it in there and get some in the future?
  • Similar to my comments above, you nailed it. End of argument.
  • So then in 3 months, the money starts. Artists, like her, that have an issue with it can just wait -- so what? Move along...
  • It's not like she's short on money. Would you go 3 months without pay only to make millions afterwards? I sure would. Swift is just a greedy witch. I admit some of her songs are catchy but in the end, she is a sellout. In regards to her comment about a up and coming artist with their first single. What better way than to have apple push it to millions and millions of users. Free advertising for 3 months. Get over yourself Taylor Sent from the iMore App
  • She's doing nothing but giving power to the people that are actually screwing artists the labels.
  • I would say that apple probably pays pretty good royalties through iTunes. All you people posting "defending artists", when was the last time you purchased an album instead of downloading it illegally in your App Store? That's what I though. Sent from the iMore App