I’ve been finding Taylor Swift less annoying recently. Following from afar from at the headlines she attracts, there has been less about the whether the love interest is off or on (which is actually more of a reflection of the media’s sexist agenda)- and more of her taking a commanding stance on current affairs. In the last twelve months she has topped charts with 1989, sent Christmas presents to unsuspecting fans and dusted her hands of Spotify.
But her latest move is perhaps her most impressive. With Apple on the precipice of entering the streaming game next week with Apple Music, she penned a thoughtful and reasonable open letter to the company over their intention to not pay artists in the 3-month free trial. She informed them they had joined the ranks of Spotify in not having the rights to her music. A move that will cost her (and her record company) millions in revenue. Doing it for her peers. That removes any righteousness from her claim; and reveals what was a cheeky jip from Apple to think they could get away with it. She then tweeted back yesterday saying the fences were mended with the company and they would have access to her music. It gives Apple a strong competitive advantage over Spotify, given they don’t have the rights to her music.
Your stance on Tay-Tay may have been to snort “Na fuck her, her music sucks”, but she is now a hero to Eves The Behavior, UV Boi and all the other bottom-tier acts you know and love- that have a very hard time in making ends meet.
Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services- Eddy Cue reciprocated the love with Swift in a flurry of tweets (above) confirming the policy change about 24 hours after the letter was posted. I’m surprised at the immediacy of her campaign. Apple knew what they were dealing with, and wanted nothing to do with it.
Streaming services are undoubtedly taking over, centralising all the power in large multinationals like Spotify and Apple. The record label has less of a say and the artist even less again. So its encouraging in this age of disenfranchisement, that Taylor could really stand up to the man and make a difference. It’s something only a megastar could bridge that divide, but that still doesn’t lessen her accomplishments.
You might think if she turned around and asked for #13 in the Hottest 100 of this year, that Triple J might cave against their traditions.