“Blank Space” singer Taylor Swift vented some frustrations with Apple Sunday, penning a letter to the Cupertino, California, technology giant to protest Apple Music plans not to pay musical artists or producers for the three-month subscribers’ trial period. Swift pulled her music from streaming app Spotify last July because of its low payouts to 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,” Swift wrote. “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.”
Apple’s service will give new users three months of free music -- by not paying the artists to whom subscribers choose to listen during that 90-day period. Swift said in a tumblr post her opinions are echoed by many other members of the music industry, and it is ludicrous to ask musical talent to work for free.
“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,” she said.
Swift said she admired Apple is working toward a “goal of paid streaming” and called the initiative “beautiful progress.” However, she protested the company’s decision not to pay artists, calling the company “astronomically successful.”
“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing,” she said.
Swift removed all her music from Spotify last July, saying music is considered “art,” and consumers should have to pay to enjoy it, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. Apple has yet to respond to Swift's letter.