In an open letter to Apple, pop star Taylor Swift said she won’t be putting her album 1989 on the new Apple Music streaming service.
She says the reason she’s holding back her latest record from Apple Music is because of the 3-month free trial that Apple is offering to all new users.
“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 wrote in a post on Tumblr.
This is not the first time that Swift has refused to host her music on a streaming service. In November 2014, she took her entire catalog off of Spotify for some of the same reasons she’s citing with Apple. Spotify offers free unlimited streaming, and that leads to smaller payouts for musicians.
Unlike Spotify, Apple Music will not have an ad-supported free tier. The service will cost $10 a month after the free trial period is over. However, Apple Music only pays musicians a slightly higher percentage of sales (71.5 percent compared with 70 percent on average in the U.S., according to Re/code).
For these reasons, there’s still time for Apple to win her back.
“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,” she wrote.
Still, it doesn’t really serve Apple to cancel the free trial or to agree to pay the music industry during those first few months. Sure Swift, won’t have her 1989 album up on Apple Music, but she will be selling it on iTunes. By hosting both a streaming service and the main hub for buying digital music, Apple can’t lose.
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