Taylor Swift slams Apple Music over no-royalties trial period

The "1989" singer says her latest album won't appear on Apple new streaming music service.

By Kate Stanton
Taylor Swift has criticized Apple Music for not paying royalties to artists during its trial period. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Taylor Swift has criticized Apple Music for not paying royalties to artists during its trial period. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, June 21 (UPI) -- Taylor Swift has pulled her record-breaking album 1989 from Apple's new streaming music service, Apple Music, over its plans to withhold artist royalities during a free trial period.

In an open letter to Apple posted Sunday, Swift described the policy as "shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company."


Swift, who pulled her music from Spotify in a similar move last year, said she could afford to go without royalties for three months but need to speak out for emerging performers.

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.


The 25-year-old "Shake It Off" singer added that some of her colleagues were "afraid" to denounce Apple.

"These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child," she said. "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."

Apple Music, available June 30, will allow iTunes users to access their personal library along with Apple's catalog of streaming music.

Users will pay $9.99 per month for the service, though the first three months will be free.

Apple executive Robert Kondrk recently told Recode that the company will pay a relatively high 71.5 percent of its subscription revenue in royalties.

But independent record labels have criticized the free trial period, saying that no compensation for three months could be "catastrophic" to their bottom line.

Swift told Apple in her letter that its "not too late" to change the company's policy.

"We don't ask you for free iPhones. Please don't ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation," she said.


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