Taylor Swift Criticizes Apple Music's Free Trial in Open Letter

Posted on June 21, 2015

Taylor Swift holding an apple from Blank Space music video

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is highly critical of Apple's new streaming music service, Apple Music, in an open letter. Taylor is critical of the tech giant's plans to offer a free 3 month trial to the service because Apple is not offering to pay artists, producers and songwriters during this trail period. Apple Music will cost $9.99 per month after the free trail period ends.

In her letter to Apple, called To Apple, Love Taylor, Taylor explains why her latest album, 1989, will not be available on Apple Music. She says she finds it shocking and disappointing that Apple is not offering to pay artists or songwriters during the 3 month trial period. Taylor also says this is not about her personally, but about new and independent songwriters and artists.

Taylor says, "This is not about me. 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."

Many other artists, songwriters and independent music labels have echoed what Taylor is saying. They cannot afford to offer their work for free to help Apple gets its new music business going. Taylor says, "Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing."

Taylor Swift and her label, Big Machine Records, have also kept her music off Spotify. Her full catalog is on Tidal and Rhapsody, except for her new album, 1989.

Taylor also writes, "We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation."

Image: Big Machine Records

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