When Apple announced their new streaming music service, one of the features is that people sign-up would get the service free for 90 days before having to pay $9.99 or $14.99 A month depending on which plan they choose, I had no idea that within the 90 days Apple had planned not to pay the artists. Aside from being under investigation by New York’s attorney general announced in an open letter from from attorneys for Universal Music Group, that music services like Apple and Sony would be under investigation for “impeding the availability of free or ad-supported music streaming services, or … limit, restrict, or prevent UMG from licensing its recorded music repertoire to any music streaming service.” Taylor Swift spoke out in an open letter to Apple on June 20th, 2015, asking Apple to change this policy. This was after she did not give them streaming rights to her 1989 album (which has held steady at #2 on Billboards top 200 since October 2014). Taylor Swift published the letter on Tumblr and said, amongst other things;
“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.
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.
These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.”
It’s not like Taylor Swift has been a fan of streaming music services. She did pull her album from Spotify, after all. But this move is one of the most positive things a artist as big as Taylor Swift has done. She did not have to. She’s very successful, very rich and could have just ignored the whole thing. Not to mention she takes a lot of crap from people less successful than her who seems determined to label all kinds of silly things. But she decided to use her voice to speak up and got Apple to reverse this ridiculous policy.
What’s the problem with Apple not paying artist? Don’t singers like Taylor Swift make enough money for this to not bother them? Of course. But, as Taylor points out, what about new artists? The whole point of places like Apple is that a brand new artist could put their music up to make try to find success. It’s one of the important parts of how music works today, and a lot of these artists are struggling while they hope to sell some music and get paid for their work. Having artists like Taylor Swift use her fame, social media and influence to make a company turn around from a stupid policy which helps these struggling artist is something to be applauded.
Of course the usual nuts are coming out of the woodwork claiming This is some kind of conspiracy theory between Apple and Taylor Swift to take over the world and cut penises off men, or something equally as silly as that. And she’ll most likely get a lot of really awful responses from the hate-group wanna-be’s calling themselves MRA. Taylor is an open feminist and makes no apologies for that. Because helping new artists, male and female, get paid fairly for the work they do is evil if anyone identifying as a “feminist” fights for it, right? Luckily for Taylor and the rest of the sane world, ideas like are being treated exactly as they should, like ignorant foolishness. Congrats to you Taylor Swift, you keep being you.
You can read the entire post by clicking here: Taylor Swift’s Letter to Apple