Taylor Swift has become pretty vocal with her thoughts on the music industry's business practices this past year, most notably slamming Spotify for offering its users a free subscription option. Now, and perhaps not surprisingly, Swift has the upcoming Apple Music service and its free trial in her sights.
In a Tumblr post, Swift reaffirms her admiration for Apple, but is disgusted at the idea that no artist will be paid during its three-month trial period. "I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company," Swift notes.
Apple's move here is a bold one, because no one likes to work for free, and I'd imagine the feeling of being taken advantage of would be amplified when the company reaping the greatest benefit during this period could easily absorb the royalties - a drop in the bucket to the richest company on earth.
Swift continues, "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."
I admit that I didn't quite agree with Swift when she attacked Spotify, but I can definitely agree that neither it or Apple Music are great for the artist - especially those who don't have the kind of fanbase Swift does. I've talked to smaller artists myself who've admitted to loathing Spotify. To some, it's a necessary evil, because listeners expect the music to be there. Listeners argue that such services are great for exposure, but exposure doesn't get the rent paid.
Regardless of just how beneficial streaming services are to the artist, they're here to stay. The more this kind of thing happens, though, the more outrage there could be. Perhaps with Swift being so vocal about things, we'll see others come out of their cubby holes to speak up. It's worth noting that while Swift's 1989 isn't going to be on Apple Music, it is on Tidal, a service that claims to pay out higher rates to artists than any other.