“So the meme playing out in the news media is that Apple, the $700 billion gorilla, was rapidly beaten down by a 25-year-old woman. Well, a woman who just happens to be a multimillionaire rock star and one of the most popular recording artists of the day. But still,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “All it took was one blog articulately expressing her dissatisfaction with Apple and the decision not to pay musical artists during the free 90-day Apple Music trial.”
“The story goes that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP for Internet Software and Services, awoke Sunday morning to discover Taylor Swift’s posted complaints about the policy. He got together with CEO Tim Cook and, within hours, changed the royalty structure to include payments for music streaming during the period when customers are sampling Apple Music,” Steinberg writes. “Chalk it up as a victory for the little people fighting against an ‘evil’ multinational corporation.”
“In this case though, the happy outcome got Apple and Taylor Swift tens of millions of dollars of free publicity, which will only draw more attention to the Apple Music launch, and her new album,” Steinberg writes. “Join folks, since Apple was pushed kicking and screaming into giving entertainers a fair shake.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Setting yourself up for oodles of free publicity just prior to a massive 100+ country worldwide launch, aligning yourself with a prominent, chart-topping, highly-popular artist, and, in the process, dooming your soon-to-be obliterated rivals to looking like non-paying cheapskates to both consumers and musicians was well worth expending a little political capital upfront in order to to prompt the requisite artist “outrage” (especially since you’ll rack up many times that in return with the “capitulation”).
If that’s “boneheaded,” we’d love to see what genius guerrilla marketing looks like (hint: you’re seeing it in action).
This wasn’t “boneheaded,” it was choreographed.
Apple can now claim they did not plan any of this. They had deals in place to stream without paying for the trial period. So, there was no collusion here. They simply did the right thing, thanks to Taylor Swift.
If you think the dominant leader in paid music download sales made a mistake that had to be rectified thanks to Taylor Swift a week before launching a high profile music subscription service, we have an absolutely beautiful bridge for sale in Brooklyn, cheap!
Legality is one thing, PR is another.
What’re Spotify et al. going to do, whine that it’s unfair that Apple is paying the artists* and complain that they’ll have to pay them now, too? The other streaming music services will lose that argument with the artists and with the paying public. Spotify and the rest are between a rock and a hard place.
*in effect, Apple is actually paying the labels who then pay out some percentage of that to the artists.
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich backs Apple Music after its Taylor Swift moment – June 23, 2015
How Taylor Swift became music’s most powerful voice – June 23, 2015
Apple Music to pay rights holders on a per-stream basis during three-month free trial – June 22, 2015
Taylor Swift wins streaming battle as Apple backs down on royalty payments – June 22, 2015
Apple responds to Taylor Swift, indie label complaints; will pay royalties during Apple Music 3-month free trial – June 22, 2015