Taylor Swift just single-handedly changed Apple Music’s streaming policy


Last week, Apple announced that they would be launching a free three-month trial period for Apple Music’s streaming service. The problem? Giving users three months of free music meant that for three months, musicians weren’t going to be paid by Apple. Taylor Swift took up the cause, because she’s been very outspoken about the need for streaming companies (like Spotify) to pay artists fairly for their music. Swifty ended up writing an open letter to Apple on her Tumblr, explaining why she would not be allowing Apple to include her album 1989 on Apple’s streaming service. Here’s part of what she wrote (you can read the full piece here):

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. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.

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.

[From Taylor’s Tumblr]

And surprisingly – or perhaps not so much – Taylor is so powerful that with one Tumblr post, she was able to change Apple’s policy. Can you believe that? Apple executive Eddy Cue (senior vice president of internet services and software) tweeted to Swifty: “Apple will always make sure that artist are paid #iTunes #AppleMusic… #AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period… We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.”

Cue also did an interview with Billboard, saying that it was Swifty’s open letter that really changed his mind. Swifty also released a statement, saying: “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t think Swifty is being “spoiled and petulant” here. She’s arguably the most powerful woman/person in music today and when it comes to how she handles the business side of her career, I have no shade. Yes, she’s motivated by self-interest and she genuinely wants to be paid, but as she says, most of her money is coming from touring anyway. She’s standing up for herself AND for lesser known artists who need whatever revenue they can find.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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106 Responses to “Taylor Swift just single-handedly changed Apple Music’s streaming policy”

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  1. MelissaManifesto says:

    No matter how wealthy someone is, if they are producing honest work they should be paid especially by the biggest company in the world. It’s a win here for everyone, the users get their free months, musicians don’t get away empty-handed, and Apple still makes money by the minute.

  2. georgia says:

    Not bad for a “25 going on 13 year old”

  3. KJ says:

    Credit where credit’s due. Taylor did a good thing for musical artists. Maybe now she can take her own advice where photographers are concerned: http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/22/photographer-accuses-taylor-swift-of-being-a-hypocrite-over-copyright-in-new-open-letter-following-her-apple-victory-5257575/

    • MP says:

      Classic double standards. Let’s see if she’ll reply or ignore it and hope it’ll just go away.

    • sienna says:

      Is it a double standard?

      I think it’s fair that she owns they images of herself. Especially when I see magazines where people like Princess Diana are put on their covers even now, because some photographer owns the rights and sells the image. The photographer can do this without ever consulting the person or their estate.

      I think all people should own the rights to images of themselves so they can consent to their use. Am I missing something here?

      • Kiddo says:

        Yes. Maybe you think Andy Warhol’s Estate shouldn’t own the rights to portraiture, as well, for example? Or Picasso’s Estate? Or any other artist who creates a likeness? She is prohibiting the work of someone else to ever be used, or sold by them, again.

      • sienna says:

        Thank you those are definitely examples I wasn’t even considering. I totally agree with you.

        But what about selling images for magazine covers like I mentioned… is there a happy medium somewhere?

      • pleaseicu says:

        There is a happy medium, or happier medium than what exists now. Not sure why she won’t consider it in this particular context. It’s sad that she gives more creative and economic leeway and respect to the paps profiting from her pr pap strolls every day than she does to her official photographers who do such beautiful shots of her concerts/tours.

        Like she could demand a clause in her concert photographers’ contracts that state the photographer cannot use the images to create merchandise or license the pictures to other businesses that compete with Taylor Swift Inc. brands/businesses or that Taylor retains exclusive control over use of the pics for purposes x,y and z. Something along those lines that doesn’t totally strip the photographer of their economic and creative rights so harshly.

      • LA Juice says:


      • paranormalgirl says:

        But this is a CONTRACT that the photographer agrees to. There is no such contract in place with Apple.

    • Pinky says:

      I dislike her so much, but I like her business sense. A quandary.

    • vilebody says:

      The article is a complete false comparison.

      The photographer should be taking up his case with the newspapers that hired him–NOT Taylor or Firefly. Why? Because Taylor is not the one hiring or paying the photographers in any capacity. The photographers who sign Swifty’s contract are freelancers who make money by taking photos of her to sell to publications.

      Basically, the issue is that Jason is unable, per his contract, to sell his photos to a second party if his newspaper doesn’t choose to purchase them. Instead of focusing his ire on the newspapers for offering no guarantee of payment, he focuses it on being unable sell pictures willy-nilly to other outlets if his original newspaper doesn’t purchase.

      This is the petulant complaint of a child. Putting myself in Swift’s shoes, I would be okay with US Weekly having possession of concert photos, but would certainly not be okay with a source like Playboy or even a random stock photo website owning them.

      Honestly, by addressing Taylor, he is using a cheap ploy for publicity. If he wanted real change, he would address the freelance system.

  4. Mimz says:

    No Shade for Tay Tay

    I love this. She’s someone inspiring in what regards business ethics, and she’s proven so far to be very smart in her decisions. Annoying schticks or personality aside, she is very, very good at what she does, and without appearing naked in every other video and/or on the streets.

    This is great!

  5. Jayna says:

    Rock on, Swifty. Great job. Even Elvis Costello high-fived Taylor on her stance and open letter to Apple.

    “Even Elvis Costello couldn’t stay quiet online. “@TaylorSwift13 A word from our future President. Right on,” he wrote. “You tell ‘em, girl.”

  6. Amy M. says:

    Good for her!! Was Apple seriously not going to pay artists and songwriters during those 3 months?? I’m all for free streaming but not at the expense losing out on revenue. I guess I’m not entirely surprised. Apple takes a huge cut of profits from in-app purchase which is a major reason why a lot of companies get rid of in-app purchase on Apple.

    • Susan1 says:

      That’s the thing. She has now insinuated they weren’t. They pbly were all along.

    • Shambles says:

      Yeah, I kind of feel like Apple was never going to withhold payment for 3 months. That seems ludicrous. I think Taylor saw something that looked like a cause she had championed previously, and jumped right on it. I think she made an assumption and Apple’s Twitter rep was being gracious enough not to make her look like an idiot for writing an essay over nothing. The way the tweet is worded makes it sound like the artists were always going to receive payment. They never suggested there was any “change” to their policy happening. Not saying she’s wrong for suggesting that the artists be paid, but I think her efforts here might have been misguided. I could be wrong though, maybe there was a policy change. I wouldn’t put it past a big business to pull something so Scroogey… I guess it just seems unbelievable to me that they actually would.

      • defaultgirl says:

        That’s the way I read it as well.

      • Jayna says:

        What are you talking about?

      • vilebody says:

        Other artists had posted letters from Apple which states they won’t get paid during the free streaming period. Taylor wasn’t misguided at all, and certainly didn’t write an essay over “nothing,” considering Apple consequently changed their policy.

  7. Susan1 says:

    Do we know that Apple wasn’t going to pay artists during those three months? That’s just standard customer acquisition and usually the company just eats that cost. May have been much ado about nothing.

    • Bridget says:

      You’re right, it is normally standard for a business to eat the cost of a promo like that. But then again, this is Apple. I absolutely believe they would pull something like that.

    • Alyce says:

      They weren’t going to pay them. Several indy labels also weren’t going to join bc they didn’t want to go 3 months without being paid.

    • Brittney B says:

      Read the last three paragraphs.

      They publicly reversed their policy and credited Swift’s statement as a major motivator. If she was jumping to conclusions (and let’s face it; she didn’t get this far by being ignorant about business specifics), they would’ve simply corrected the record.

  8. Audrey says:

    Love that she spoke up and thought of the artists who are still struggling

  9. Bridget says:

    That was totally crossing the line for Apple. It’s their choice as a company to offer the promo, but to strong arm artists into offering their music for free on the service for 3 months? Ridiculous.

  10. Liberty says:

    good for her, because this will help many other artists who have less than her, and will help the newest unknown artists realize their work has value.

    Too often there is a concept that art, design, music etc — creative products — should be freely given away — but people will always pay right up for a coffee, a burger or dry cleaning for a shirt..

  11. Brittney B says:

    I’m so glad that she (or someone on her team) knew it was important to highlight the new and struggling artists, instead of making it about a general right to be paid. She hasn’t always recognized her own privilege, but she’s making strides, and this seems to be a step in the right direction. She knows that if it affects her, it’s infinitely more impactful for people who are still living paycheck to paycheck.

    That’s a great way to put piracy in general into perspective, too. The opposite of Tidal’s business plan, which seemed to hinge on star power instead of actually being thoughtful and realistic about the vast majority of working artists.

    • PrincessMe says:

      This is exactly what I thought. Even if she was more concerned about herself, she didn’t make it about “me, me, me”. Instead, she made a good point about the people it will impact most.

    • bluhare says:

      I wish she’d have been more honest about it. Why not say something about how she deserves to be paid for her work and, by the way, there are some who can’t afford to not be paid and highlight the little guy there. The way it was written was classic deflection from the fact that she wanted to be paid. And I agree she should, but let’s be honest about it. Didn’t she just have a beef with Spotify recently about their payments? That wasn’t about the little guy. That was bout being paid. And she SHOULD be paid; don’t get me wrong. I just don’t like the “on behalf of the little guy” stuff that disguised why she was really writing it.

      • Bridget says:

        I wouldn’t have had a problem with it either. It isn’t that I think it was disengenous for her to put the focus on indie labels, but it makes me think about how so many women are uncomfortable asking for raises/asking for what they’re worth. And how we may worry that it’s tacky to do so, or that maybe we’re asking too much. Up until very recently, there’s an expectation that women aren’t supposed to take a hard line negotiating.

  12. Annie says:

    I really like this girl , I know she has many haters but she seems to have her shit together which is very refreshing in today’s culture.

  13. Cynthia says:

    I’m glad that if indie labels weren’t enough, Taylor Swift making Apple look unfair was helpful. I really don’t like when people use the adjective “greedy” towards alreay successful artists like Taylor and those who joined Tidal. Maybe you don’t think that the entertainment industry should be about millions, but every person should be rewarded any penny they deserve for their creations, whether you’re a popstar or a struggling indie singer.
    The way music industry is set up basically leaves little revenue of album sales to the actual writers, producers and singers, it’s crazy to me that if people stream my music millions of time i get a very small percentage of money.

  14. Neonscream says:

    I’m a bit confused about the free streaming for 3 months. Hasnt Apple been doing that via iTunes radio for ages? I only used it once because I have a Spotify subscription but I wasn’t charged for it and that was ages ago. Also I presumed that Spotify must pay some licensing fees to artists given users pay for the service, if they don’t I’ll cancel mine subscription because people deserve pay for their work, which would be a shame because I’ve discovered great artists on that and then purchased their work which I otherwise wouldn’t have especially as music, even digital music which costs no more to provide here, costs MUCH more in Australia than the rest of the world. I’m not rich enough to fork out $30 for an album of a artist I have never heard of.

  15. Eleonor says:

    What really amazes me is that she was the ONLY one who spoke.
    Apple had to change their policy fearing a pr disaster.
    She was right.

    • Betti says:

      I think that as she’s the only one who has says that she’s got the wrong end of the stick. Most providers (Netflix etc..) all offer free trial periods. Just because i as a consumer do not pay for Netflix for the first month does not mean that the studios are not getting paid – they will be. Every time you buy or rent a movies from iTunes, Amazon Prime the studio gets a cut.

      Apple will still have to pay for the royalties regardless of whether the consumer pays for it. Its basic economics.

      • Kattttt says:

        Apple sent a letter telling recording artists they were not going to be paid for those three months. The lead singer from a indie band whose name totally escapes me (something town massacre) tweeted about it. He said no to Apple and they said they would take all his music down from iTunes, Taylor Swift did not have the wrong end of the stick.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        Kattttt: Brian Jonestown Massacre?

      • Kattttt says:

        Paranormal girl : that’s him, the name totally escaped me! The way he told it was that Apple made it clear artists wouldn’t be paid and he described them as ‘satanic’. So, on the basis of that, I’d say that Swift was right in her argument… Also, Apple didn’t correct her which is surely what they would do had she misunderstood?

  16. Claire says:

    I honestly think this comes from her working in country music with some of the best songwriters – she is standing up for the people who taught her what she knows.

    • Ratchetosity says:

      +1 – Taylor Swift is an excellent business woman because of her country roots

  17. bns says:

    The “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists” is killing me for some reason.

  18. NUTBALLS says:

    By standing up for herself, she’s standing up for all artists. Well done, Swifty.

  19. Jayna says:

    Apple could have done one month of free streaming. They are doing three months, because then the likelihood of keeping them is so much stronger. They are going to be the biggest streaming venture out there. They are worth almost a trillion dollars. Yet to really get Apple Music to take off quickly they are doing three free months for THEIR venture and expect not to pay the artists. What about the ones just dropping their album or new single during this three months when traffic would be the highest? Bull on them. Taylor had the clout and used it for all artists and their work product. There was a lot of rumbling in the indie artist community about what Apple was doing, but they didn’t have the clout she did.

    Apple was smart to turn this around quickly as they launch Apple Music. Let’s not forget the arrogance of Tidal.

  20. Allie says:

    I think why I don’t care about this issue is because Taylor only seems to stand up for issues that are specifically affecting her. I honestly don’t think she would have written this letter if Apple was paying known artists but not forking it over for unknown bands. That’s what rubs me the wrong way.

    • FingerBinger says:

      This. It was affecting her. She wasn’t taking a stand for other musicians.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      I don’t know that it is. She makes the vast majority of her money through concerts and sponsorship. She’s withholding 1989, which has already made history with the #1’s and being the only platinum album in 2014. She withdrew her material from Spotify. The music industry makes money off of album and song sales, she makes money from entertaining and being the face of products.

      • FingerBinger says:

        No. Taylor makes money from writing songs too. Musicians make money from writing and having the publishing rights to their songs. Michael Jackson made loads of money by buying the Beatles catalog.

  21. angie says:

    Is it true that Apple’s overseas factories where the Apple watch is made have really abusive working conditions, such as 6 day, 60 hour working weeks under harsh supervision for less than $300 a month? There was a news report about this a few weeks ago, to the effect that the abysmal conditions were driving workers to suicide. Apple issued what lawyers call a “negative pregnant,” meaning a denial of one part of the story (the suicides) while not commenting on the allegations about the working conditions. Are all their products made under these conditions?

    • FingerBinger says:

      Even if that was true do you think people will stop buying their products? No.

    • Nanea says:

      I thought Apple’s manufacturers mistreating employees was general knowledge? There are so many stories out there about the bad working conditions​ at Foxconn​ and have been for years.

      People working 80 hour weeks and still earning so little that they don’t have to pay any kind of taxes in China, people sleeping several to a room, the factory flouting safety regulations, people killing themselves because there isn’t anything being done to help improve their conditions.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Yeah partly why her whole speech seemed so phony.

      ‘I’m shocked at you Apple! You’re such a forward thinking company that believes in respect’

      No they’re pretty much your usual corporation that make money off breaking others backs, but interestingly enough that didn’t bother you till you weren’t getting paid.

    • Jenna says:

      Don’t know about the watch specifically, but labor practices by companies manufacturing Apple products have been criticized in the past, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

      Given that Foxconn was manufacturing ~40% of the world’s electronics in 2012 (http://www.alternet.org/story/153931/26_facts_about_the_awful_conditions_where_your_gadgets_are_made), bad labor practices are probably not just a problem with Apple products.

      Personally, I try to do what I can by treating the electronics I own well, to make them last as long as possible, and by not buying a ton of gadgets. At the moment I own one 6 year old laptop and a 3 year old smartphone. No tablets, watches, fitness trackers etc. Still using the same digital alarm clock/radio I got as a freshman in college 15 years ago. We also get a lot of our household electric items (lamps, microwave, etc.) from craigslist or second hand stores. Aside from the labor practices on the production end, a lot of electronics contain toxic materials and when they are shipped off for “recycling”, it’s often to a developing country where the items are dismantled by children. I realize in today’s society it’s not practical to be completely technology-free, but I do think it’s worth questioning just how much value these items are really adding to your life and then moderating purchases accordingly, to minimize their impact.

    • jwoolman says:

      I remember when one particular set of suicides hit the news a few years ago – turned out their rate was actually less than in other facilities. It’s very high stress because people travel long distances to get those jobs (which pay very well for the region) and expect to work long hours. They’re away from friends and family. It adds up to big time stress. I don’t think so much overtime is a great idea, but Americans do the same thing when they can get the work and times are tough economically. Heck, Americans join up with the military in the middle of a war because they can’t get jobs, and that’s a 24/7 job where you can get killed or permanently injured. Still, foreign companies using such out-of-country facilities do need to at least hold them to the same standards they would at home (which isn’t always great….). Any serious accusations of coercion need to be investigated, but some accusers do go off half-cocked and don’t bother to get the real, more complicated story.

  22. chaine says:

    Using her powers for good! Respect.

  23. Alex says:

    Good for Taylor. Saw her post last night and she had a point about the policy hurting those who haven’t made it big enough to tour. Most artists make the bulk of their fortune touring. So yea good for her.

    Now if apple could fix the stupid glitch that causes my phone to restart for no reason that would be awesome

  24. sofia says:

    I may not like her but this is how power should be used. To make something better and fair. Jay Z and Bey and company, learn something.

    • Cynthia says:

      I applauded Taylor, but this is not different from what Jay-Z and Tidal wanted to do? They basically championed the same cause as Taylor, giving the fair share to artists who stream their music, more than Spotify does. They both did it for themselves AND other artists/witers/producers.
      If you want to talk about the marketing campaign of Tidal instead, yes that was a disaster.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Are people not aware that Taylor BELONGS to Tidal?

      • Cynthia says:

        Right? I bet in the end she’s going to give her new album to Tidal as well, maybe after a year. She hasn’t accepted the Apple music contract.

  25. Betti says:

    Good for her for speaking out but I don’t believe Apple were not going to pay royalties – that’s pretty standard in license agreements and no record company would give permission without it.

    Its a bit like when you trial Netflix for free for 1 month – just because you (the consumer) isn’t paying for it doesn’t mean the studio’s are not getting their royalties. They will be. Its the same business model and happens every day with other providers so not really sure where she’s coming from with her argument.

    I suspect she’s jumped to a conclusion without all relevant information – Apple has only confirmed that royalties would be paid in reply to her and to counter any negative PR, they’ve never said they wouldn’t and even if its true they wouldn’t be stupid enough to advertise it. Seems they have graciously stopped short of making her look like a total idiot – props to them.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Tbh I think this is like trying to go back in time.

      Taylor being one of the few artists that goes platinum can complain about not making money on every single front. She’s not releasing free mix tapes or debuting unreleased songs on different platforms for fans (not that she has to, but many artists currently are).

      The reality is the music industry is changing. With every new technological growth the rules and expectations change. Once upon a time you bought an album from anywhere to $9-17 for a few songs you liked with some filler, CDs were also sold containing just one or two hit singles. Then ITunes came along and no one was making that 9-17 anymore. Fighting the tide didn’t help so they adjusted.

      ITunes even with its price increase still lowered the amount given to record companies and when streaming came along even ITunes took a blow. Streaming works by you being able to listen to a song but not own it, people aren’t going to pay the cost of owning for something they casually listen to.

      What’s a good place to debate all this? With record companies who are devising who gets a cut of what with the majority going to the company itself. Why isn’t Taylor fighting it on that end? Why isn’t she demanding more of record companies to update to the changing technology?

      • Betti says:

        I remember those days – paying upward of £20 for a CD. It was rip off consumer gone mad.

        I agree with your last paragraph – record companies are not really changing to suit the massive change in technology, they are just not equipped to deal with such a disruptive media.

        Its TBH an issue that affecting a lot of industries (such as publishing which i work in), they expect technology to adapt to them and their way of working – they won’t to change to suit the technology. They are scared of tech and the effect it will have on their massive profits. The whole business model needs to change but no one has the answer.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Well said Betti.

        Technology usually adapts to benefit the consumer, when it doesn’t is when you see technology fail. An example being what happened with the Keurig Coffee Brewers K Cups and how they attempted to use technology to restrict their consumers from using their brand for anything but their K cups. HUGE backlash.

        Technology adapts to the consumer, in turn companies adapt to that technology. Fighting that does nothing but make you lose on both fronts, you lose the audience who’s already transitioned to that new technology and you lose the potential audience who sees your fighting for what it is. Money-grubbing.

        We transitioned to an MP3 based music world. Sure there’s some value left in owning physical copies of music but that’s just not efficient for the majority anymore. From there rather than spend a dollar plus on every song people spend a basic amount to listen to a wide variety of music. Taylor can refuse to be a part of that but she’s taking her battle to the wrong fronts. Record companies have to find out how to fairly pay their artists with a smaller amount of money coming in because streaming is the new iTunes and funny enough Taylor for all her protesting hasn’t pulled her music from iTunes.

    • Jenna says:

      I collect royalties on digital media of mine that is sold through a 3rd party site. I was pretty surprised to discover that even though my contract allowed me to stipulate the sales price of that media, the site would only give me a percentage of whatever their sale price was–and my contract didn’t have any option to limit the item being put on sale. So if they sold my product at a 50% discount, they cut my royalty in half. At first I wasn’t too concerned as the company rarely ran sales–maybe once a year or so. Then they were taken over by another company and my royalties suddenly dwindled to a fraction of what they had been. I did some digging and realized the site was suddenly having sales almost all the time–the list price was practically meaningless because they were routinely “discounting” items. I removed my products from the site. Fortunately this was only hobby income for me and so I felt quite comfortable taking that position, but I knew some other folks who had more product and relied on that royalty income as a substantial chunk of their income–I’m sure it was a big hit for them to see those kinds of drops.

  26. bette says:

    Apple just didn’t want a bad break-up song about them ala Jon Meyer or Jake Glyenhall

    • Yoohoo says:

      Did you even read the whole page? Apple said they were not going to pay but now they are because of Taylor.

  27. poppy says:

    so, an artist crates a painting and sells it (or gives it away for exposure) and never receives another penny when that painting is sold continually for an increase in price.
    there is something wrong with current copyright laws.

    • Betti says:

      For the scenario above why should the artist get payment for a painting that is privately sold on from him – in that instance he has already made his money with the original sale. Even if he were to give it away for exposure he would be foolish to include any commercial rights and should always have legal agreements drawn up. Most artists are quite clued up about copyright law – they kinda have to be otherwise they will get ripped off.

      However, if the current owner decides to make prints of it to sell for commercial reasons he would have to either get permission of the artist (or his estate) with a % of royalties or buy out the rights completely – meaning he buys all commercial rights to the item.

      Copyright is complex and is for a reason – there are too many situations that need to be covered.

  28. Elle says:

    Good for her. I just finished reading Andrew Keen’s The Internet is not the Answer and he had a depressing (but well written) chapter on how all of these music streaming services are wrecking royalties. And like Taylor points out, it’s the smaller acts who suffer.

  29. Jess says:

    First, she’s the most powerful person in music right now – no need to qualify with “woman” at all. And yea, she gets nothing but props for this. Can’t blame her for wanting to be paid (especially by a massive corporation) and this benefits the smaller musicians that Apple was ignoring. I’m glad she made Apple change its mind but Apple just looks back through this entire thing, from beginning to end.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      I actually don’t think in this case with her current accomplishments she’d be more powerful than some of the men in the music industry. No scratch against it since she’s still doing amazing but there’s quite a few heavy hitters above her.

  30. Betti says:

    Please see article link to Billboard where Apple explains what it had originally negotiated:


    The following paragraphs stands out:

    ‘We’ve been hearing a lot of concern from indie artists about not getting paid during the three-month trial period, which was never our intent. We never looked at it as not paying them.
    We had originally negotiated these deals based on paying them a higher royalty rate on an ongoing basis to compensate for this brief time. But when I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that’s why we decided we will now pay artists during the trial period and we’ll also keep the royalty rate at the higher rate.’

    They were always going to get paid – it was just being deferred until AFTER the trial period and they agreed to it as it came with a higher royalty rate as compensation. But props to her for highlighting it as some artists might not be able to wait that length of time for money to live off.

    • Jayna says:

      That was their way of trying to get around not paying, and it was word play. That is damage control pure and simple to word it this way. Them paying a tiny bit higher, which was always hyped, has nothing to do with the three months free to lure people away from Spotify but not pay the artists. I am on a couple of respected rock boards which also has professional musicians and everyone agrees with Taylor.

  31. Happy21 says:

    I’m so glad to read all the positive comments here today. I was reading FB posts about it yesterday and MAN people are brutal. A couple of the links I went to had 300 all negative comments about Taylor and how she is greedy, etc. I don’t think of her that way at all and can see that when I came here today, I’m not alone.

    Taylor is the sh**!

  32. G says:

    PR stunt – great advertisement for both and now everybody knows about Apple’s streaming service and how much it is. They get to look like reasonable business who care about their artists, and Taylor gets to look like their saviour. Watch her music go on there in 3,2,1 ..

    No pay fo artists was always going to be contested and Apple knew it. My question is how long has Taylor been in cahoots with Cue and Iovine.

  33. Lucy says:

    Eat your heart out, Jay Z and Co. And well played,Taylor!!! No shade from me. She structured her point in an honest way and it worked.

    • Boots says:

      Except she’s a part of and a supporter of Tidal so….

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        It’s hilarious to me that people don’t know that, yeah Taylor hopped on Tidal from the beginning.

  34. tealily says:

    Good! Apple *should* pay for this. If they are the ones running the promo, they should be giving their own product away, not that of the musicians.

  35. coffeeisgood says:

    It is the music she is creating and we should pay to listen to it. She is a smart business women, she’s not handing out free music and I don’t blame her.

  36. ISee says:

    She’s not standing for indie artists, she is standing for herself. She ignored this problem for years when her label was paying her for the music on Spotify etc but not smaller artists. As soon as she was treated the same she wrote this letter. She looks good here, but behind the scenes she has been profiting from smaller labels not having her power. Its good on one hand that thus has changed the industry so perhaps labels, like the small one I work at, may get a slice but she is not a hero, she just wants her cash.

    • Yoohoo says:

      Is there something wrong with her wanting her cash? I doubt you work for free.

      • AuroraBorealis says:

        It’s disingenuous of her to stay she isn’t doing it for herself, but for smaller artists when like the poster above you mentioned, she didn’t give a Frick about them when she was getting paid.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


      She only spoke up when it cut into her money, which is fine, but like many others I see the deification of her as the patron saint of indie artists to be false.

  37. CasualBtchr says:

    Gross. Good thing I don’t use Apple products. Swift and Apple together… yeah, nah.

  38. Rhiley says:

    “Bitch, I’m Taylor!”

  39. racer says:

    Marketing gimmick. I guess you really can fool most people all the time.

  40. Jules says:

    Hell yeah Taylor!

  41. Vampi says:

    Hey KYLIE….you see this? THIS is..
    Ahhhhh, nevermind.
    GO Taylor!
    Pray for Kylie.

  42. Jag says:

    Yay! Good for her!

  43. jwoolman says:

    Companies often try to get other people to subsidize their promotional work, if possible. I work for translation agencies as a freelance translator, and in recent years some keep asking me to do free or heavily discounted translations because they are trying to get a “big client” and offering them a discount or free services “for a test”. I just tell them my normal price and point out that their trial arrangement with their client is their business expense, not mine. I have no guarantee that they will get the client or even be willing or able to hire me at my normal prices if they do. So it makes no sense for me to offer anything but my normal price. If I’m not working for them, then I’m working for someone else at my normal price.

    In earlier times, no agency would ever ask for this. One agency told me they were paying me more (at rush rates) than they were getting from their client, but they were fine with that because to snag the client, they needed a good translation. So times have changed and everybody is trying to squeeze more pennies in profit any way that they can, looking for the weakest link in the chain to squeeze.