Taylor Swift = Superhero
I never really thought too much about Taylor Swift until recently. To me she was someone who wrote love and breakup songs that many girls loved. My girl guitar students were usually excited to learn the song “Ours” and my guy students usually groaned at the mention of her.
But in the past few months she has elevated herself in my opinion in several ways. First she pulled her latest album, 1989 (with the very catchy hit “Shake It Off”), off Spotify because she didn’t think their artist compensation model was fair to artists. Agree with her or not, this move potentially cost her big money, and I admire her willingness to take a stance even if it hurts her financially.
Now she has the nerve to put Apple in their place when she learned that they planned to not pay artists during it’s free three month trial period of their upcoming new Apple Music streaming service.
We all know Apple is a powerhouse company that designs great products (that I use daily) and charges prices for them that allow them to stay flush with cash. With well over $150 billion dollars of cash in reserve (more than the U.S. Federal reserve), Apple is normally a generous company. But Apple was essentially saying “Let us use your music for free for three months to get people hooked on our new music service.”
This brought public outcry from most independent music labels and artists. Most of whom aren’t flush with cash. But independent artist don’t carry much clout in a music industry run by a few giant players.
Still, Apple asking artists to give up a quarter year of potential income to benefit Apple struck Taylor Swift as wrong. Taylor Swift could easily weather the three months of lost income but instead she took on the role of “David” against the giant called “Apple.” In an open letter to Apple, Taylor gently chided Apple for this plan. And apparently a little public shaming by one of the country’s most successful and beloved artists is all it took. Apple has since reconsidered and will now pay artist during the three month trial period. Apple can afford it. If they want to give their product away they shouldn’t ask independent artists to foot the bill. They should cover the cost themselves.
Well done Taylor. You are now a superhero in my book. My 8 year old grandson thinks you’re pretty awesome also. Although his view is probably based more on your music and looks then your righteous indignation. LOL! I guess I’m a fan now too.