Obey The Almighty Swift: Taylor Swift Defeats Apple Music

Country/pop princess Taylor Swift has defeated the almighty Apple corporation in the battle for artists’ rights in music streaming. After an open letter to Apple where she criticized Apple for not paying artist royalties during a three-month trial period for its new streaming service, the corporation has relented. On Sunday night Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue announced on Twitter that they had a change of heart, and that Apple Music would pay the artists. Swift tweeted, “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.”

Did Apple really listen to the countless indie artists and music fans, though, or just Taylor Swift? In her open letter, Swift presents an almost Robin Hood-esque image claiming she speaks for the countless lesser-known musicians. She wrote: “These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much.”

However, her past actions have proved how protective she is of her empire. In a famous Wall Street Journal editorial, she criticizes streaming services and believes people will still pay for albums if the album is well done. “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free…” she said. It is still unknown whether Swift will allow her 1989 album to be streamed on Apple Music. She has pulled her music catalogue from Spotify, attempted to trademark phrases in her songs, and sent cease-and-desist letters to Etsy craft makers. Some commenters on social media think she is just being a savvy businesswoman, is greedy and selfish, using this as a PR stunt, or all of the above.

With the weight of Swift’s opinion, it’s likely that if she did not speak up, Apple Music would have continued with the original plan. Despite Swift’s alleged intentions, the result of her speaking up will allow those artists to make some sort of profit, and that consequence deserves some praise. Considering the wealth of Apple, it seemed a little stingy and unlike their PR image to stiff the artists for the three months. After seeing how Apple relented to Swift, let’s hope she and other A-list artists use their influence to speak up for smaller artists more often.

What do you think of the Swift vs. Apple debate? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image by GabboT via Flickr


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