Taylor Swift takes issue with Apple Music free trial in open letter

Apple's plan to offer Apple Music to customers for free for the first three months--and not pay musicians royalties during that time--has not gone over so well with some in the music industry. That includes one Taylor Swift.

In a post she published to her Tumblr, Swift explains that she decided to withhold her album 1989 from the streaming service at launch to protest Apple Music's no-royalties trial period. 

She writes:

"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, of course, is one of the biggest names in the music industry and can weather not getting paid for a few months. However, Swift says she's doing this for the little guys. 

"This is not about me," she writes. "[...]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."

Criticism, but also praise

Although she takes issue with how Apple is handling artists during the Apple Music trial period--which kicks off with the service's June 30th launch--and urges Apple to reverse course regarding royalties, Swift also praises the company on its work toward paid streaming.  "I think [Apple Music] could be the platform that gets [paid streaming] right."


Nick Mediati

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