Taylor Swift’s Open Letter Causes Apple Music To Change Policy


It’s easy to bash on a pop superstar like Taylor Swift for complaining about the amount of money she makes, but considering how she went about doing so – and what happened as a result – we’ve got to applaud her for her efforts. The 25-year-old country crossover star recently posted an open letter to her Tumblr, and it appears to have served its purpose.

Apple Music offers new users a three-month free trial period, during which time royalties from the songs streamed will not be paid to the artists responsible for them. Swift, who already found herself embroiled in a similar controversy with streaming service Spotify, demonstrated a graceful presence of mind in her open letter by making it more about struggling artists than herself.

One paragraph read:

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.

It was only a matter of days after Swift’s letter had bounced around the blogosphere that Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue tweeted in response:

In light of how promptly the dispute was addressed, credit must also be given to Apple for its forward-thinking approach to resolving such matters. The negative impacts of streaming services on major record labels has emerged as one of the larger issues in the contemporary music industry, but in instances during which it so directly affects independent artists it’s refreshing to know that the company will listen to reason – and Swift’s letter was nothing if not reasonable.