Popular starlet Taylor Swift is featured on next month’s issue of Vanity Fair, and in the interview with the magazine she recounts the recent spat, and subsequent make up, with Apple regarding music streaming. She also has a few words to say about Spotify.
Taylor Swift blasts Spotify
Initially Apple planned not to compensate artists during the Apple Music free 3-month trial. That prompted her to publish an open letter on the web saying that her latest album, 1989m would not be available on the company’s new music streaming service. Apple then changed its mind and caved in to the pressure, leading her to agree to featuring the album which was then highly promoted at launch.
In the Vanity Fair interview, Taylor Swift covers her exchanges with Apple and compares it to a similar experience with Spotify that had a very different outcome.
Swift says in the interview that she wrote the Apple letter in the middle of the night, reading it to her mother before publishing it, after a friend sent her a picture of their Apple Music contract.
“I wrote the letter at around four A.M. The contracts had just gone out to my friends, and one of them sent me a screenshot of one of them. I read the term ‘zero percent compensation to rights holders.’ Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and I’ll write a song and I can’t sleep until I finish it, and it was like that with the letter.”
The star was surprised at how quickly Apple responded. She also said that Spotify was a “start-up with no cash flow”:
“Apple treated me like I was a voice of a creative community that they actually cared about,” she says. “And I found it really ironic that the multi-billion-dollar company reacted to criticism with humility, and the start-up with no cash flow reacted to criticism like a corporate machine.”
Swift also says she was worried how people would respond to her initial stance against Apple Music.
“My fears were that I would be looked at as someone who just whines and rants about this thing that no one else is really ranting about.”
But in the end, Swift and Apple came out looking quite positive, and Apple Music launched with her support (and likely her fans’). She currently still doesn’t allow 1989 to be streamed for free on the ad-funded tier on Spotify, however. Apple Music is a paid service except for the initial 3 month trial period, and it’s the only service that has her full catalogue.
There have been growing pains with Apple Music however, with some people saying the service still needs work, especially the user interface. Still, more choice for the consumer can only be a good thing, and whether you prefer Spotify, Apple Music, or something else entirely, it’s a sure sign that music streaming is becoming more popular than ever.