Taylor Swift has made some waves in recent days following the news that her album 1989 would not be hitting any of the streaming services, particularly Apple Music. Now, she has come out to explain her reasons in an open letter to Apple where she calls into question the company’s practices with the service’s free trial period.
In the open letter posted to her Tumblr, Swift cites that this absence is not about her in the end. Instead, it’s a fight for artists who are just getting their start or attempting to break through. Apple Music’s policies, particularly during the trial period, are apparently detrimental to those artists:
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…
Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.
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.
It’s a similar fight to the one Swift took up against Spotify not long ago, but it hits much closer to home. As she puts it in the letter, she’s had a pretty decent relationship with Apple via iTunes and it really makes the whole letter seem like the nicest way possible of saying “f*ck you, pay me” to Apple Music.
You can read through the entire letter over here (and then reblog and heart it with the rest of your friends!) and you can listen to Swift’s music on something that pays money to artists.