Taylor Swift Criticizes Apple Music For 'Not Paying Artists'

Illustration for article titled Taylor Swift Criticizes Apple Music For 'Not Paying Artists'

Taylor Swift has joined the chorus of musicians and producers criticizing Apple for refusing to pay royalties during the three-month free trial period of their new streaming service, Apple Music. In a blog post on Tumblr, Swift explained her decision to keep her latest album off of 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 emphasized that the decision “is not about me,” but rather about independent labels and new musicians:

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.

Her decision comes after an outcry from independent labels who have argued that they would be the most affected by the loss of revenues. Last week, The Guardian reported that Beggars Group, a UK-based indie label that represents FKA twigs, said:

Whilst we understand the logic of [Apple’s] proposal and their aim to introduce a subscription-only service, we struggle to see why rights owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple’s customer acquisition costs.

Swift concluded the post by urging Apple to revisit its policy:

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.


Image via Getty.


Yeah I’m not always the biggest T Swift fan but she seems completely right here. If Apple wants to lure people in with a free trial, which is a totally standard marketing move, it’s on them to pay for it as part of their promotion costs. A hotel offering a free night’s stay to new visitors wouldn’t be able to forgo paying their front desk and housekeeping staff.

Many of the smaller artists don’t have the platform she does so good on her for publically chiding them on this one.