Taylor Swift Slams ‘Shocking, Disappointing’ Free Apple Music Trial

Taylor Swift Apple Music
Sascha Steinbach/Getty

Taylor Swift is speaking out against free music once again.

The songstress took aim at Apple with an open letter titled “To Apple, Love Taylor” posted to her Tumblr page on Sunday, blasting the company for launching a three-month free trial of its music streaming service on June 30 that fails to pay the artists whose music is being used.

“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,” Swift wrote. “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.”

“These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child,” she went on. “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.”

Swift also made a plea to Apple to rethink its model, and additionally announced that she would be withholding her hit album “1989” from the service.

This isn’t the first time Swift has publicly rallied against a streaming music platform. Last year, she pulled her entire catalog from Spotify, saying she wasn’t “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.”

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    1. john says:

      You left out the whole middle part of her message and that was completely intentional.

      The part where she says its not about the big stars making money, but the smaller artists that will not be compensated for their work, artists that were perhaps hoping the Apple money would help them with their debt, etc

      I actually don’t think highly of her because of the whole spotify thing. Whether or not she meant what she said, you should still include it. Journalistic integrity isn’t even a thing anymore. If it ever was.

    2. Katie Fairchild says:

      She is remarkable. Kanye can’t hold a candle to Taylor and her giving personality that thinks of others when wielding her sizable portfolio. You go girl so proud of you. 💖

    3. Pete Perry says:

      The Magic Oak Tree Family (MOTF) have always believed that music should be free, and to substantiate this, we are recording an album of opriginal songs by Oak Tree International and Archimedes titeled ‘The family Album’, which will be free to all on mp3. Because cds and vinyls cost more to produce, there will be a modest charge to cover the cost and postage. Music in and International language, and should be shared by all. Love & Peace from Pete & Nikki and The MOTF

    4. billyj79 says:

      Personally I have as little to do with Apple as possible & Taylor was totally correct. It was not about her getting paid, but was important for the new artists who are taken advantage of at every turn by the big corporations.

      Clearly Apple realized the bad press was going to hurt their image and have changed their plans and will be paying artists during the 3 month free roll out process, so I will give them credit for that.

    5. Truth Teller says:

      I am not a Taylor Swift music owner, but she is 100% correct here as ALL SHE IS ASKING FOR is for content creators to be paid for the content they create. WHO HERE DOES NOT EXPECT TO GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK?

      The fact that so many petty people are complaining here shows just how far society has fallen. So many people seem to want something for nothing, AND EVEN WORSE, they feel entitled to something for nothing.

      Stop being jealous of people just because they have lots of money. It makes you look bad, not them.

    6. Stephanie says:

      That is why I listen to Spotify. No Taylor Swift! I hope she pulls her music off everything. Saves me time from skipping her songs.

    7. Al Swearengen says:

      lel as if I have one iota of sympathy for her. I am sure she wipes her tears with $100 bills.

    8. tymtrvlr says:

      W.T.F.? Only 3 months? I was told everything was going to be free in obama’s new marxist utopia. That little elves and pixies were going to produce food and clean water for us, like michelle o’s bark sandwiches and swamp water shakes, obama phones and we can all sing ” kumbaya” everyday.

    9. Noumenon says:

      How I read this:
      ‘Dear Apple, give me money or I will write songs about you. I complained about earning $80,000+ a week from Spotify and take offence to you trying to discourage piracy by offering a free trial period with your service. Send me vast amounts of money money money….. Yours sincerely Taylor.’

      Apple are trying to provide incentives to pay for a service so musicians will receive funds long term. Taylor is really short sighted on this issue. Who cares if she holds back her new album? Artists who don’t earn nearly as much money as Taylor aren’t out with torches and pitchforks. They’re likely happy with the additional exposure and once the initial free period is over that an additional revenue stream will be open to them.

      • textopisec says:

        No, artists who don’t earn as much as Taylor stay silent because they cannot afford to complain, while Taylor has the luxury of fame and press interest to speak out on issues she finds important to be addressed, and thank God its this rather than something trivial like many other celebrities do. Have you gone by working for 3 months without getting paid for your hard work? No? Well shut the fuck up. This statement is guarding and protecting the intellectual rights and hard work of singers, music producers and songwriters who are nowhere nearly as famous and rich as Taylor Swift, but who are also affected by this. Whether or not and how much money Taylor loses herself by going on aboard with Apple’s plans is not the core issue here. But even if it was, who are you to say if an artist has enough money or not? You wouldn’t like that sort of scrutiny over your own work, would you?

        • Noumenon says:

          So what’s the alternative? Encourage people to engage in piracy?

          Taylor should be an advocate of people subscribing to music streaming services instead of whinging about how she’s not making as much money as Motley Crue in the 80’s.

          The music industry is running on an antiquated business model and are clutching at straws trying to find ways to create new revenue opportunities.

        • textopisec says:

          Again, she said this is not about her, if you bothered to read what she had to say (which clearly you didn’t). I’m not against piracy. I’m against piracy without regulation or a dose of management and rules in place. But this is not the place to discuss that. Encouraging piracy? Piracy existed well before Apple made a buck at all, let alone before Taylor started “whining” about this, and will continue to exist, regardless of whether or not Apple streams 3 months of music without paying the creative people behind those works. Since we are not living in anarchism yet, people need to be paid for what they work on or create. Its the rule of capitalism, if you want to get by. 3 months is a long time for you to be working without being paid. There is no argument good enough to justify it. Piracy is not a good argument. And Apple not going through this encourages piracy as much as video games encourage violence and lack of education.

    10. Devin says:

      So many people calling Swift greedy, while arguing she should be glad that musicians are not getting paid to do advertising for a company that made $26.1 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2015. Weird.

    11. PS says:

      Oh, geez. Shut up you entitled, greedy, stuck up b.itch. Even though you claim that Apple is not paying artists, I highly doubt they could give away the music for free (they do not even give it away, they stream it, so it’s nothing different than radio), without the artists consent.

      • immortalaria says:

        That was the agreement. It was in the fine print. Apple would provide free trials for consumers, and during that time NO ARIST would be paid for streams. And it’s not the same as radio. Radio is curated. Apple essentially wanted artists to “take one for the team” for a bigger rate.

    12. theeinvisiblecircus says:

      Reblogged this on Invisible Circus and commented:
      What’s really interesting about this is that Taylor is very much aware of what goes INTO the music machine, determined to collect accordingly versus taking things piece by piece. She’s clearly been digging around and learning from everyone she’s come into contact with.

      It also means she’s much smarter than tabloids will lead you to believe.

      you go Taylor.

    13. jhs39 says:

      Taylor Swift is misdirecting her anger, which was also the case in her tantrum against Spotify. If Apple is offering a free trial that is because the labels that own and release the music is allowing them to do so. If the artists aren’t getting paid for music during the free trial that’s on the labels, not Apple. Apple is trying to entice people to subscribe to its service and if the first 90 days is a free trial that suggests there is no permanent free service like Spotify and Pandora provide–which should make Taylor Swift happy. She comes across as a spoiled brat every time she complains about streaming services not paying her enough money. She should be bitching to her label–when Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify claiming they weren’t paying her enough Spotify was barred from saying what they actually paid out for Swift’s music because of confidentiality agreements the labels force streaming services to sign. Most artists have no idea how much Spotify is paying their labels and what percentage of that is going to them. Instead of throwing a misdirected temper tantrum at streaming music, which is very likely the future of the industry, she should be demanding that labels void the confidentiality agreements they are enforcing and be open about how much money they are getting from the streaming services for each artist.

    14. Nudd says:

      This is economics 101 and apparently Taylor Swift doesn’t understand it. Give people and incentive to join the Apple service and it will create new customers that will end up paying once their free trial is over. And it shouldn’t just be Apple that eats that bill. The writers and performers should want these kinds of free trial periods so that new customers can be created and their music can be sold down the road.

      It also does get obnoxious for millionaires to think it is their job to defend the indie world or new artists. They are full of themselves if they think their music is anything but just a product. It might be personal to them, but to the rest of us it is something that is a product for entertainment purposes (with some exceptions). Tidal launch, for example.

      Taylor Swift is very talented and pretty and that is why people are drawn to her music. If she wants to keep that rolling, she needs to not be such a penny pincher.

      • PG says:

        It isn’t the job of millionaires to defend indie/new artists… but it’s good when they feel obliged to. Why else will speak for – of listen to – the small people, if not those who have the position and audience to do so?

        I imagine there are a lot of “small” people who are very happy she spoke up to defend their – as well as her own – work, royalties and livelihoods.

    15. So when does Greedy Apple start giving away free I-phones or I-pads for three months? Shouldn’t be a problem considering the billions in profits they make, way more than Taylor Swift, yet people call her greedy. Just as I thought.

    16. LOL says:

      Greedy woman.

    17. People are still buying music?

    18. Dennis Minuti says:

      Wasniak stole his ideas from me…including the name for the company. How they can get away with this criminal activity is a mystery to everyone except the politicians they are paying off.

    19. PT says:

      Way to go Taylor — and be assured there is a growing chorus to join you in protest.
      There is war developing between ‘creators’ of content and the corporate giants who are the ‘providers’ of content. Since these corporate behemoths enjoy unfettered control of the delivery systems, they have been dominant in this battle. Both consumers and artists are the losers as Comcast, Verizon, TimeWarner, et al gain total control of media distribution.
      Thank you for fighting the good fight.

    20. grouchysmurf says:

      I don’t like Apple and I don’t like Swift…and I hate paying for over-priced music that is sub-par compared to the 70’s thru 90’s.

    21. Brown Noise says:

      Another multi-milliionaire crying about how the rest of us should be giving them more money.

      • Pearl says:

        You didn’t read her actual statement. It’s not about her. It’s about the indie artists.

        “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.”

    22. MB says:

      Free music is the best thing that has happened to music. It forces artists to tour, perform, and play their music live. It has brought out all sort of old bands out of the mothball vaults -all the ones that were sleep in the 80s and 90s collecting royalties.

      Swift should focus on dropping a few words and syllables, and work on her meter, to minimize the rambling and actually make a song.

      • Harry says:

        I am no economist, nor a political scientist. But what you just said, seems to be suggesting a communistic regime? But in that case, the pressure–as you said–which forces the artists to tour and perform would not exist, thus invalidating the logic of your argument. If you are not a communist, then you seemed to be saying that you support piracy in our capitalistic society. Are you condoning stealing is ok? I’m unsure what you are suggesting, of the kind of world you find most agreeable. I’m also quite curious, on how you think about the overall art industry? If singers, song writers, and music players ought to make music for free but need to tour to feed themselves, then what kind of economic model do you prescribe for poem writers, painters, sculptors, florists, fashion designers? Please, enlighten me.

      • JK says:

        You are posting the same message on all the boards, and everytime what you said is soooo wrong.

        Free music is not the best thing for the artists that create it, the artist is in the right to have their work valide it with a compensation everytime a new person has in its ears that music, playing live is a different beast, don’t try to mix the two things

        And about Swift, she has an album out right now, with 12 songs (17 with the extras), currently at number 2 on Billboard 200, and the number one album of last year and this year, so she’s making succesfull songs unlike you.

        So drop not only a few words but your entired uninformed opininion and just then comment on this…!!!

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