Taylor Swift and Apple appear to have made nice — for now. The singer announced a blockbuster deal with the computer manufacturer — and content provider — to stream her concert movie, 1989 World Tour, exclusively on Apple TV.
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) December 13, 2015
As the Washington Post reports, the Taylor Swift/Apple deal is exclusive. That means that fans who want to see the 1989 World Tour concert movie either have to already be signed up for one of Apple Music, or need to sign up for a free trial. Taylor made that clear on her website.
“Beginning Sunday, December 20, The 1989 World Tour LIVE will be available in its entirety exclusively to Apple Music members around the world at applemusic.com/Taylorswift, and can be enjoyed across devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Apple TV. Fans who don’t already have an active Apple Music account can visit apple.com/music to sign up for a three month free trial today. Plus, Apple Music is the only place where fans can stream Taylor Swift’s full catalog of albums and songs including the Grammy nominated Album of the Year, 1989.”
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 13, 2015
Taylor Swift’s smash album, 1989, is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and one of only five albums to have remained in the Billboard Top Ten for an entire year (the other four albums with that distinction are Adele’s 21, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, and Celine Dion’s Falling Into You).
Considering the phenomenal success of the album, the concert movie is poised to be a huge smash. The 1989 World Tour LIVE movie was filmed in November, at Australia’s ANZ Stadium, in front of 76,000 fans, according to the Village Sun Times. Besides Taylor’s performance, the film promises to show backstage goings-on (such as rehearsals) as well as performances from other musical guests who appeared on tour with Taylor.
That the concert movie is being exclusively distributed through Apple is something of a shock, according to Re/code, considering that Taylor’s relationship with Apple has been rather strained. In July, Taylor had some harsh words about Apple’s offer of a free three-month trial period. Taylor opined, in an open letter to Apple, that streaming content for free with no pay to the artists for three months amounted to Apple expecting musicians to work for free. She famously refused to make her 1989 album available on Apple Music for that reason.
“I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music… I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months… We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”
So what caused Taylor to have a change of heart? That’s between her and Apple, but Re-code writer Peter Kafka believes that a “nice check” with Taylor’s name on it may have had something to do with it.
Adding Taylor Swift to the lineup may help Apple Music — which, by most accounts, has been a huge disappointment, if not a total failure — get back on track with more subscribers.
As of this writing, it appears that Taylor Swift’s new deal with Apple applies only to her concert video and not to her 1989 album.
[Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images]