Taylor Swift takes on Apple Music, stays winning against music streaming services

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is on a roll. After winning a victory against Spotify, Swift’s taken on another big music streaming service in the shape of Apple Music. And by the looks of things, she’s won again, for now.

Here’s what Swift said in an interview with Yahoo when she was taking on Spotify:

“The landscape of the music industry itself is changing so quickly, that everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. And I’m not 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. And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.”

Her feelings resonate strongly with how she feels about Apple Music now.

In a note published yesterday in her blog, titled ‘To Apple, Love Taylor’, Swift expressed her dismay at being expected to have her music available for free on Apple Music during the trial period.

In the post, she alludes to fact that Apple Music didn’t plan to pay musicians, song writers, and producers, during its free trial period.

She continues to say that “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation”.

apple music

There is no doubt that Swift has a point and that speaking up will allow others to do the same. How Apple planned to get away with not paying artists is a mystery. What remains clear though for the music streaming services is that they cannot operate independent of the royalties that they have to pay to artists. Spotify has had to justify the royalties it pays to artists and it should not be different for Apple Music.

All music streaming services pride themselves in that they will help listeners discover new artists and this we can all agree is a good thing. Taylor Swift says that part of her objections to Apple Music not paying artists is that new artist are being ripped off.

“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”. She writes.

She further goes on to say that, “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.”

Scraping for answers, Apple has come out and said they will now pay artists during the trial period. Apple media boss Eddy Cue sent out a tweet that was without any details of how Apple will pay artists.

Later, in an interview with Recode, Eddy Cue after consulting with Apple CEO Tim Cook provided some details of the payments which are still short of the fine details too. Cue said that Apple will pay rights holders for the entire three months of the trial period.

Cue stresses that that it will not be the same rate that Apple is paying them after free users become subscribers. Cue says that Apple will pay rights holders on a per-stream basis and did not give details.

The news appear to have pleased Taylor Swift.

Though Apple has not revealed details, probably because it is busy drawing them up, Taylor Swift appears to have won yet another momentous battle against a music streaming service. A victory not only for herself but other artists too. She is the modern David of the music industry and she is in the process changing the game, not only for now but for the coming artists.



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