UPDATE: Following Swift’s open letter, Apple Music has reversed its policy on paying artists during the free, three-month trial period.
EARLIER: Three days after it was revealed Taylor Swift’s 1989 won’t be available on Apple Music when the streaming service launches on June 30, Swift explained why she came to that decision in a post on her popular Tumblr page.
“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. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries,” Swift wrote in the post, entitled “To Apple, Love Taylor.”
But despite the love Swift feels for Apple, it’s the company’s decision to offer a free, three-month trial to Apple Music subscribers – a time period where artists won’t earn any royalties for streams of their songs – that Swift is against.
“I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company,” Swift wrote of the decision. “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.”
Swift added that similar complaints about the three-month trial were voiced within her social circle of fellow artists, but that those people “are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much.”
“We simply do not respect this particular call,” Swift wrote.
Swift famously pulled her catalog, including 1989, off Spotify last year. “I’m not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music,” Swift told Yahoo! in an interview last November. “And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”
Speaking with Re/code earlier this month, Apple executive Robert Kondrk explained that Apple Music’s will pay 71.5 percent of its subscription revenue to music owners, a figure that’s higher than the competition (something done, in part, because of the extended trial period).
In her Tumblr post on Sunday, Swift applauded Apple for “working towards a goal of paid streaming,” but hoped the company would change its mind on the three-month trial.
“We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” she wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
Read Swift’s full open letter below; representatives for Apple were not immediately available.