​taylor swift’s 1989 will not be on apple music

The streaming service’s 3-month free trial is stopping deals being signed with the UK’s indie labels too.

by Charlotte Gush
21 June 2015, 1:10pm

When Apple's new streaming service Apple Music launches on 30 June, Taylor Swift's 1989 will not be on it; nor will music by Brian Jonestown Massacre nor artists signed to many of the UK's indie labels, like Adele, The Strokes and Queens of the Stone Age.

The main sticking point is the 3-month free trial that Apple Music are using to lure customers; rather than footing the bill for the trial of their service, Apple are asking the artists themselves to give away their music for free for that period. The deal would be especially problematic for artists who have new albums out during that period and rely heavily on income made in the first few months after release.

Taylor Swift's album 1989 has been out since November in the UK, going to number 1 in its first week, but it has remained in the top 10 every week since but one. Swift has taken a hard line on streaming, pulling all of her music from streaming services that have a free option, saying they "devalue music". Her back catalogue can be found on paid subscription services, but 1989 is available to buy only.

Indie umbrella Beggars Group have also announced to their acts that they are unprepared to accept Apple's terms. This means that the service will launch without artists signed to Rough Trade, XL, 4AD and Matador, including Adele, The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age and Radiohead.

"Whilst we understand the logic of their proposal and their aim to introduce a subscription-only service, we struggle to see why rights owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple's customer acquisition costs," Beggars Group told Business Insider.

Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe also voiced a similar complaint on Twitter, saying, "The biggest company on earth wants to use my work to make money for 3 months and pay me nothing - [if] I say no,I'm banned". Newcombe seemed to believe that if he didn't sign up to Apple Music then his work would also be removed from iTunes, something the music giant has since denied.

Earlier this week, Andy heath, chairman of lobby group UK music predicted this response from the indie labels, telling the Telegraph, "Apple is sitting there with this massive pile of cash and saying to us, 'you help us start a new business'. Well I just don't think it is going to happen on these terms… Smaller labels would be completely screwed."


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Jana Beamer

taylor swift
The Strokes
Rough Trade
xl recordings
Apple Music
Beggars Group