Taylor Swift Personally Addresses Apple Music.June 21, 2015
The singer explains why 1989 will not be available on the new streaming service.
Taylor Swift takes another stance in her bid to give artists more power within the music industry.
You’ve gotta hand it to Swifty, she’s consistent in her efforts.
After removing her music from Spotify late last year, Taylor Swift is again taking her own personal stand against the latest platform in music streaming: Apple Music.
Taylor has taken to her official tumblr page to clarify why she has decided not to team up with Apple, for the time being:
“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.”
Despite being one of the most powerful industry figures, Swift insists her decision is not actually about her.
“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.”
Sticking her neck out for her crew:
“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.”
No bad blood here, but perhaps some light Tidal shade?
“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.”
Whether this is a wise decision or not, it doesn’t really matter. Taylor will remain successful and certain industry figures and companies will remain driven primarily by revenue. It is the music business, after all. I have to commend Taylor, though, for attempting to show the world that artists can consistently have a say as to what happens to their music and why it should or shouldn’t be marketed a certain way. What pop fan doesn’t have a fave who hasn’t been mercilessly chewed up and spat out by an industry intent on treating talented people like products to be sold? Swift seems to want to end that destructive trend and I’m all for it.
A music industry where artists are allowed to exercise some rights and agency over the distribution of their own product – as opposed to being packaged and sold like one themselves (and with no guaranteed reward or freedom) – is a much fairer option that music makers and consumers would no doubt prefer was the norm.
Nothing will change if the people with the power don’t speak now.