Taylor Swift is withholding her hit album “1989” from Apple Inc.’s new music streaming service because the company won’t compensate artists during a three-month trial.
“I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company,” Swift wrote in a blog post on Tumblr titled “To Apple, Love Taylor.” “Three months is a long time to go unpaid,” she wrote.
Swift’s public rejection is just days ahead of the introduction of Apple’s big gamble to catch up with other subscription music services, such as Spotify, which are threatening to rewrite the industry. Though Apple remains the largest music retailer in the world with its iTunes Store, its place as an industry leader is being challenged.
“1989” scored the biggest debut of any album since 2002, according to Billboard, selling more than 1.2 million copies. It was the seven-time Grammy winner’s third record to top 1 million sales in the first week, according to the artist’s website. Seven months after its initial release, it is one of the 10 best-selling albums on iTunes.
Swift said in her post Sunday that while she expects Apple will continue to be one of her “best partners,” she is not releasing her album for the Apple Music service in support of new bands and artists that may not be able to afford not getting paid for three months.
“We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” Swift wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
She said Apple could afford to pay artists while still offering the service for free.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment Sunday.
Apple Music will debut with 30 million songs on June 30. After the free trial, the service will cost $9.99 a month per user or $14.99 per family, and Apple will begin paying musicians. The company had been aggressive in courting artists for the service and has argued they should be paid.
The threat streaming services create for the finances of the music business is also why Swift, crowned No. 64 in Forbes’ list of the “world’s most powerful women,” pulled her music from Spotify last year.
Apple Music is aimed at bolstering the tech company’s efforts in the sector at a time when the music industry’s revenue from streaming is on pace to exceed sales from downloads, according to MusicWatch.
The service will be available on iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, Macs, Apple TV, personal computers and -- in a surprising twist -- Android smartphones running software from Google Inc.
Spotify has more than 60 million users -- with a quarter of them buying the $9.99-a-month ad-free subscription, while music is the most popular genre on YouTube’s video service, which attracts more than 1 billion users a month. Spotify pays almost 70 percent of its revenue to the music industry.