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Taylor Swift Explains Why She Doesn't Support Apple Music

Taylor Swift Explains Why She Doesn't Support Apple Music

Taylor Swift is opening up to her fans in an open letter she wrote to Apple to explain why she won’t let her music stream on the company’s new service.

The 25-year-old singer made her decision to not stream her album 1989 on Apple Music because the company is offering users a three-month free trial, during which artists won’t be paid a penny.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Taylor Swift

“I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans,” Taylor started off her letter on Tumblr. “I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.”

Click inside to read the rest of Taylor Swift’s lengthy open letter…

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.

I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.

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.


Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Getty
Posted to: Music, Taylor Swift

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  • Lee

    Waaaaaaaaaaaah, I’m rich but I won’t get paid for 3 months during free trial, waaaaaaaah! Greedy bitch

  • girl93

    She cares more about money than her own fans. Not cool Taylor, not cool…

  • Ignii

    Taylor doesn’t do that for HER. She sells and makes a lot of money from her shows. She does that for the young new ones who need to get money for their music. Well said Tay! Look at all the messages from the artists on twitter.

  • Marc

    You wanna eat food for 3 months yet don’t wanna pay for it? FREE LOADER!!

  • Molly

    Who does this loud-mouthed kid think she is? She should feel lucky she has a career and stop trying to tell corporations how to run their business. No more of her music for me.

  • b324

    Dear Taylor,

    I can get your CD for free from the library. Are you going to go after libraries next. Hell, I could probably get your music from all your music videos on YouTube. I’d LOVE to see you go after YouTube and take down all your videos. Go ahead, I dare you.


  • devvv

    “This is not about me.” How in the entire world is this about new artists that are in no way, shape or form impacted buy you deciding to withhold your music. You didn’t reach this point by making people by your music. Her first few albums were streamed on Pandora, Spotify, etc. That’s how you reach the point where you can support yourself. That’s how you grow a fanbase that will eventually pay for your music, merch, and live shows. New artists are going to try and be cute and withhold their music because Taylor told them to and end up in a worse situation because no one knows who they are and their music is no where to be found, besides in the Itunes library with the ridiculous 1.29 price sticker. Girl, bye.

  • Rose

    She said absolutely nothing wrong. Quite the contrary. So don’t hate, like most basic people do.

  • eternalozzie

    i love the way that almost none of the commenters here know how the music industry works. she is not talking about herself … she is set for life at this point. she is talking about all the other artist not getting paid. streaming services today pay a percentage to the themselves and the record label and he artist gets a tiny percentage of the label’s cut.

    I don’t like her music … i don’t like the way she dates young hollywood’s closet then gets upset when the relationship doesn’t work and wrties bad music about it. But on this point she is dead on that corporate america is screwing artists.

  • Molly

    My opinion is as valid as yours—and throwing around the word ‘hate’ is juvenile.

  • Jo

    Jesus!!! She’s like America’s sweetheart who “loves” her fans,but won’t give her fans three months of free trial,considering she is already a billionaire…WOW she is greedy as fuck!

  • MrOzMan

    “she”? You think she wrote that letter? Interesting! Of course the PR response is going to appear less self-centered.

  • Sophia

    Pretty soon she’ll realize no one can actually buy her “art” because she’s banning it from all the popular streaming services. Welcome to 2015, Taylor.

  • Mental Floss

    So what Taylor is saying she’s not willing to give her talent away even to her fans who made her rich and famous. And don’t give that BS that she’s fighting for all musicians. She doesn’t strike me as an activist.

  • Michele V

    So she’s the anti-Radiohead in terms of talent AND passion.

  • YupVideoFever

    I guess, what she was saying:

    “Apple,* lick-lick-lick * I want you to pay for the free trial * lick-lick-lick *, since you offered it to my fans, who love me * lick-lick-lick *”.

    To be honest, the greediest one here is Apple. All its marketing: from chargers to data storage is designed to suck money out. So in theory, I am with Taylor on this.
    Same time… new artists would LOVE to be heard for free. And if Apple starts paying for all unknown new artists – they go bankrupt.

    Anyway, at the end Taylor will get her money, Apple will get the money, and we guys will pay for some “Special offers”, lol.

  • plez

    Streaming helps young acts get ticket sells for their shows which is where they make money. Taylor is doing this for her bank account.

  • Leila

    People: she’s asking APPLE to pay the artists and their songwriters and producers for their work. WHY the hell would any of you be on the side of CORPORATIONS who STEAL from individuals? WHY would you attack artists’ defending the value of their work? She’s CLEARLY asking on behalf of THOUSANDS of people who work 12+hour days in the studios who CANNOT speak out for fear of Apple banning their work on Apple Music, like they have threatened COUNTLESS independent record labels who refuse to give away their music for free for 3 WHOLE MONTHS!

  • Leila

    This is about streaming on devices, and it’s actually illegal to copy library-borrowed CDs and store it on your devices. It’s also illegal to download YouTube videos and store the music/videos on your devices. Should we all call 911 to report you?

  • Leila

    Actually ignorant opinions are not as valid as the informed, educated ones, you will find. Your statement was indeed hateful and a reflection of your dissatisfaction with your own life more than it is about anyone else.

  • Skopin

    I feel like most of the commenters here either didn’t read the article, or simply didn’t comprehend it. She said she is perfectly fine with Apple allowing users to stream music for free; but why should the artists not be paid for it? Apple is using the artists’ media to get people to sign up for their service.

    Let’s say you work at a McDonald’s. If McDonald’s runs a promotion that gives away free cheeseburgers to every customer for the day, should the workers making those burgers not get paid? That’s essentially the same scenario.

  • Mads_22

    I don’t need to read that entire essay just to pick up on the fact she’s greedy as hell. She doesn’t let Spotify stream her music either. The success of this album has really gotten to her head. Cause it’s all about money to her now. Shame.

  • Effy

    Please, tell Swift is no artist. She is a mean girl who writes songs about bashing other people. She is two faced and a wonderful manipulator.

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  • Canon Lyn

    She absolutely has a point. You don’t see JK Rowling giving away free HP books for 3 months, or art galleries giving up 3 mos. of income to give people free paintings. If we want to keep having good music to listen to, we need to make sure those artists get paid else they’ll be keeping a day job that does pay them instead of giving us great music. She’s right, it may not affect HER, but it takes someone LIKE her to stand up for everyone else who does not yet have that power in the industry and say NO, that does not work for those struggling to make a name for themselves AND pay their bills so they can keep making music. Kudos to her for going to bat for them! This from the most fan-loyal person in the industry. No one treats their fans better than she does so if she can make a difference for other artists, you gotta commend her for that. Those calling her greedy didn’t read the article and know nothing about Taylor Swift, clearly.

  • Penny isafreeloader

    Well, unfortunately for you and Taylor, streaming and file sharing is the way to go now, illegal or not and there’s no turning back. That’s just the way it is. Deal with it.

  • Penny isafreeloader

    Thank you! She’s saying she’s “protecting” new artists- well for new artists to make money, first they have to reach an audience. Free distribution will help them in terms of popularity, that will eventually(if they’re worth it) also translate into profit. Am i the only one to think that through streaming, music has become way more democratic? Also, just a reminder. The actual profit for artists comes from live shows and merch, not distribution. And she’s very aware of that- why else would she trademark her lyrics? Every single move she’s made under the pretence of “justice for artists” screams for money. It’s disgusting.

  • Penny isafreeloader

    the fact that you said “basic people” just pretty much killed your argument. Go chill at a Starbucks, kid.

  • ryan

    Corporations make it possible for these people to not only their music(who do you think makes the equipment?) but to distribute it as well. I’d hardly call them thieves when they are the ones giving musicians the ability to not have to work a crappy job. Being musician takes effort, but it is in no way a real job. Musicians forget that. They aren’t the factory or clerical worker working 8-10 hours days to make a hundred bucks. They are people doing what they love. Is it really work then?

  • Amber

    She doesn’t want to give her music away for free, and that’s perfectly understandable, and within her right to do. But for her to go on a crusade and say that it’s in support of lesser known Artists who may not agree with her stance on the issue is wrong. We all know she doesn’t need the money. She knows she doesn’t need the money. Why is it so hard for her to admit that she just doesn’t want to give her music away for free?

  • kellyf

    For someone who got their start on myspace – a FREE service where she gained great exposure and built her fan base, and where her music was streamed for free – she seems to have forgotten how valuable that exposure was. Small and lesser known artists use these streaming services to reach a broader audience and gain new fans – a free trial only increases this reach and exposure. She can say it’s about them all she wants to, but it has never been about them. She never has a problem until SHE’S not getting paid. Small artists are sitting at their computers screaming for her to STFU and stop ruining their chance at what she’s already got.

  • lorde faptaguise

    this greedy b*tch doesn’t support anyone who doesn’t pay her bucket loads of money. just like w spotify

  • girl93

    So, why doesn’t she talk about Tidal too?

  • devvv

    Yes! Any human being who would trademark “Party like it’s 1989,” a phrase they didn’t even create is clearly only interested in one thing. She’s greedy, manipulative, and wants to be the victim so bad.

  • girl93

    “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing…” – Katy Perry

  • Skopin

    I’m only basing the argument off of this article. If I had to guess, though, I would assume that Tidal still pays the artists, even through the free trial offered to users.

  • Gavin Pohl

    Go ahead and call 911. You know who would end up in jail? You, for calling an emergency number without an emergency, which is a felony. Have fun.

  • Gavin Pohl

    Jesus christ, you’re the one who said on another post you were gonna call 911 on someone for illegal downloads. Talking about an ignorant opinion and hateful comments.

  • Gavin Pohl

    Clearly you didn’t read the comments you’re trying to discredit. The grand majority of people commenting are admonishing her (with a few exceptions, admittedly) for pretending to defend lesser known artists and acting like she’s some sort of champion for them when THIS IS HOW THEY GET EXPOSURE. This is how bands actually get heard, signing up with some shit company so their name gets out there.

    Sure, it’s fine if Taylor Swift wants to get paid every time someone hums her trashy classless songs, that’s not the issue. The issue is she’s trying to act like she’s championing other artists when this is just a big “I want more money” rant. It’s ok to be greedy, but for the love of god at least have some honesty and admit “I’m a money loving twit.”

  • Lou Vasquez

    Taylor Swifts a dumb Skinny Ho!!

  • Kay

    Agreed @skopin, even if the girls filthy rich, and somewhat annoying she’s right. And she explained herself well

  • Rose Ryan

    I don’t listen to Taylor’s music, but I agree with what she says. People have come to accept the work of others as their right to have free of charge, even if it is illegal for them to do so by downloading music and video without paying. Apple is a big company and they should be ashamed that THEY are not paying the artists for using their music for 3 months. She’s not asking the public to pay, but if Apple is offering it for free, then THEY should pay the artists. This seems like a no brainer.


    How would some you feel if your boss told YOU to work 3 months for free? You’d quit, bad mouth them all over town, then file a lawsuit. But you don’t think that artists should be paid because that goes against your code of getting something for nothing. This is what the world is coming to, whiny a s s, me generation, lazy freeloaders. I think some of you missed the point or else you’re really, really dumb. Although the two aren’t mutually exclusion.

  • b324

    Are you going to call 911 on every kid from the 80s that recorded songs from the radio with their boomboxes to make mixed tapes?

    If burning CDs to computers is illegal, then CD makers should make it harder to DL CDs and computer companies should not include programs that allow you to burn CDs. Companies should not be making rewritable CDs and places like Best Buy and those like them should not be selling products that allow consumers to do all that.

    If you want to go up against Apple because you don’t think it is fair to the little guy, then write a letter and champion against ALL companies that make it easy to get free music.

    That’s was the basis of my comment/point.