Apple was unable to secure the streaming rights for Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ album, BuzzFeed reports. The outlet says both Swift’s label and Apple have confirmed the story, meaning the massively popular album won’t be available on Apple Music at launch.
Apparently Apple Music will feature Swift’s back catalogue, however, which includes 4 other highly sought-after records. But those can already be found on other subscription services such as Rdio and Tidal, so they won’t serve as a differentiating feature.
A lot of folks will write this off as “pfft, it’s just one album,” but it’s way more than that. 1989 was the best-selling album of 2014, and has been thus far for 2015. It’s also the album in which Swift just kicked off a massive worldwide tour under to promote.
This could end up being a big deal for Apple, who is already fairly late to a budding streaming market. Imagine how many thousands of fans are going to leave Swift’s many concerts and search for the songs that she played, and not find them on Apple Music.
Of course, they won’t be able to find them on any service—no one has secured the rights to stream 1989. Swift has publicly criticized streaming services for “devaluing the art form,” and in November of last year she opted to remove all of her music from Spotify.
Apple introduced Music on June 8, and plans to launch it at the end of the month. It’ll come with a free 3-month trial, and then cost $9.99 per month ($14.99 for family plans). It hopes that curation and discovery features will set it apart from the competition.