At the Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple tried to sell the idea of paying artists for music, but it looks like the same artists against Spotify are not planning to launch on Apple Music.
Taylor Swift is the most noticeable absence to Apple Music, not adding 1989 to the streaming service. All prior albums will be available to stream, but any future albums and singles will most likely stay off the platform.
This is similar to Swift’s agreement with Spotify and Tidal, even though one streaming service offers ad-supported music listening, and the other offers no freemium model. It appears Swift is fully against streaming in any form, sticking with iTunes, radio and live tours for exposure.
The Beggars Group also slammed Apple Music for its three month trial, where rights holders will not be paid. Apple is also not speaking about royalties on Connect, its social network inside the music service.
Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Pixies and Bon Iver are all under The Beggars Group, meaning a large portion of well loved music will be unavailable on Apple Music at launch.
Apple claims it did not work with indies when launching the iTunes Music Store, so The Beggars Group declining is not that big of a deal. The difference is a lot of artists now own their music rights or the holder is a much smaller label.
Agreements with Tidal also place Apple in an awkward spot, where it may have to negotiate deals with artists to beef up its streaming catalogue. Artists like Jay Z, Kanye West, Coldplay and Beyonce might be unavailable on Apple Music, if Tidal can pull them away.
Apple wants to see 100 million subscribers in the first year, but the gap in content might push a few million away. The three month trial should interest a lot of customers, but keeping them after three months will be the real challenge.