We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation. – Taylor Swift
FIERCELY WRITTEN on her Tumblr page, Taylor Swift explains bluntly and plainly why she is withholding her truly great album 1989 from Apple Music‘s free trial, calling their policy “shocking, disappointing.” Everything she says is right on and Taylor Swift has the power to make these statements straight to Apple.
I’ve written about the issue of artists giving away their product for many years, because I’ve fought my entire life to monetize my art, whatever the medium, which began when I was a young teenager. Fortunate enough to be part of the e-commerce boom in the ’90s, moving from the largest alternative newsweekly, it was very difficult to adjust to not being paid for writing and providing content, which is why I resisted blogging initially, continuing to work to be paid. Free content shifted writing into the providing content for exposure paradigm, which was the model of HuffPost, my first post for them in 2006, among many other places. I talk at length about the free content model in my latest book, because it’s been such a struggle to stay independent, while also continuing to pursue the growth and evolution of my own work.
When I went to a subscription site it was a difficult decision, because few boutique sites stay alive doing it, but it was one I had to finally make. I’m not part of the Democratic chain, either through the party or through activism. My writing is fully independent, so every day it’s a struggle to stay alive in today’s new media. It’s why I value so much every single person who signs on and pays money to read what I write. Supporting the craft of writing, opinion and dialogue, as it’s done here, is a huge statement from each of you.
Taylor Swift explains
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.
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.
Ms. Swift is right. Going without being paid for months is simply wrong.
Late Sunday evening, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, tweeted to the masses that Apple would pay artists for streams even during users’ free trial period on Apple Music. It was a direct response to a recent critique from superstar singer Taylor Swift. [Mashable]