How Taylor Swift became music’s most powerful voice

“As Kanye West learned the hard way back in 2009, it’s not smart to mess with Taylor Swift,” Ryan Faughnder and Randy Lewis report for The Los Angeles Times.

“Few today would dare grab the microphone from Swift, now 25,” Faughnder and Lewis report. “Her clout was underscored Sunday when she forced Apple — financially, the world’s mightiest company — to abandon plans to withhold artist royalties for music streamed during the three-month free trial period for Apple Music.”

“Neil Young’s longtime manager Elliot Roberts called it ‘a watershed moment’ and a rare victory for musicians who have seen their earnings from recorded music steadily decline in the digital age,” Faughnder and Lewis report. “Others had complained about Apple’s plans, to no avail. Few in the industry were surprised that Apple listened to Swift. ‘She wields a mighty sword,’ said Nielsen analyst David Bakula. ‘She is at the top of the game. She is the most well-known, most well-liked and most outspoken artist out there. When Taylor speaks, it’s so much more than just her social media following.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: With each article that springs up, this sounds more and more like a planned PR stunt that benefits both Taylor Swift and Apple Music.

And, if this wasn’t planned, it should have been.

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


        1. But some of their supporters believe Ms. Swift and Mr. Bush got where they are, not because of the advantages they’ve been given by their birth circumstances, but due to their *hard work* and determination. My experience in life is there are talented musicians / songwriters out in the wild, who outnumber the ones in the media spotlight by a factor of 100.

        2. In a paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers say there is a link between political ideology and the ability to exert self-control.

          In a series of three studies with more than 300 participants, the authors found that people who identify as conservative perform better on tests of self-control than those who identify as liberal regardless of race, socioeconomic status and gender.

          They also report that participants’ performance on the tests was influenced by how much they believed in the idea of free will, which the researchers define as the belief that a person is largely responsible for his or her own outcomes.

          For example, conservatives who are more likely to embrace the idea of free will overwhelmingly agreed with statements like “Strength of mind can always overcome the body’s desires” and “People can overcome any obstacles if they truly want to.”

          “Conservatives tend to believe they had a greater control over their outcomes, and that was predicting how they did on the test,” said Joshua Clarkson, a consumer psychologist at the University of Cincinnati and the lead author of the paper.

          More: LA Times, June 22, 2015

        1. GOD BLESS Superior Being and First This, First That and Howie Isaccs, for once again shining that holy light of TRUTH upon the wallowing pigs, rolling in their pen! Without these gallant warriors keeping the faith, and leading the way to enlightenment, the world would be an emptier place.

        2. That is certainly correct, and it is our duty as compassionate humans to do everything in our power to make it less unfair.

          Only when life is fair will everyone’s position in society be a reflection of their ability and effort. Until then, we must continue working on removing artificial barriers and obstacles for parts of the society.

        3. May you some day wake up and live in reality.

          No wonder lefties are unhappy. They have a wrong view of human nature that sets them up for continual disappointment. That would be like a parent expecting two year olds to play nice and share toys. They don’t do it. Neither do nations squabbling over territory. Neither do countries fighting over fundamentally different ideals. Wanting peace doesn’t make peace happen. Wanting fairness often ends up creating unfairness (see Affirmative Action).

          A leftist has all the panicked mission of a person struggling to Change The World Or Else. So, every generation has had a pseudo-religious substitute whether it be the next Ice Age, Ebola, HIV, or now, Global Warming aka Climate Change aka Gaia be pissed.

          When it all depends on you, the anxiety must be nearly impossible to bear. And then, when the leftist had it all – all branches of government – in their very grasp; and for their elected officials to fail at stopping war and famine and general unfairness and badness, it’s so defeating and misery-inducing.

          The biggest hippie dream came to fruition with Barack Obama and guess what? He’s in bed with corporations. He acts like a war-monger (who knows what’s rolling around his noggin on this score). He refused to ensure the public option, aka socialized medicine. Hope and change. Pfft.

          Sad part is, for the leftists at least, they worked for a generation to achieve this win. They have the most liberal president in ages, who has set America on the road to the kind of socialism most only dreamed of (if only they could be French), and it’s not enough.

          Lefties have lots of reasons to be miserable. But they’ll be back to their happy miserable selves when they’re out of power. Chucking cheap shots from the cheap seats is easier than wearing big boy pants and governing. They can march around again demanding social justice and bleat in impotent rage, but with the secret comfort that adults are back in charge. And because I’m just so compassionate, I wish this miserable happiness on my deluded, confused, unrealistic hippie friends. I can hardly bear their sadness one moment more. – quoted and paraphrased from Melissa Clouthier

        4. It seems to me that you have a singular obsession with American politics. And you are profoundly miserable because of the current situation, counting the days until the new election for president, and hoping and praying the next one isn’t female…

          When I said what I said, the last thing on my mind was American current political situation. Your text, as articulate as it is, has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote.

          We as compassionate humans will continue to passionately work on removing obstacles and barriers. This is something that crosses cultural borders and political regimes. Even in most totalitarian systems, ordinary people are still compassionate and will always instinctively try to balance the scales whenever it is within their ability to do so.

          There will always be a segment of population that is selfish and inconsiderate. These people will not care about anyone other than themselves, they will be the ones erecting barriers to others, cutting into lines, taking advantage of others. In the developing world, struggle to survive sometimes brings out these qualities in ordinary people. In modern deveoped societies, however, this isn’t necessary in order to survive and prosper; we can afford to be compassionate and considerate, so we generally are. It is one of the important qualities that separates humans from most other animals (although even some animal species show compassion).

          The reality is, humans will always try to help one another, to do what is right for themselves, as well as for the society. It is in our nature.

        5. I’m with First and Howie. I long for a better time before these namby-pamby attempts to make society more (whinging nasal tone) faaairr.

          Ah, for the times of we had no vote for women, slavery, young kids working as trap boys — sitting in one spot in the dark for 12 hours a day, six days a week. If they can’t work themselves into a better position in society, fuck ’em.

        6. This fantasy that everything is unfair is just a lame ass excuse that people use for their own failure. I’m not buying it. I’m very compassionate. Instead of handing my hard earned money to people who are unproductive, I instead want to teach those people how to care for themselves. That’s a lasting change. Freedom must always be coupled with responsibility.

        7. First, you say “absolutely right” to the statement “Life isn’t fair. It never will be. Get over it.” Now, you refer to the “fantasy that life is unfair.” On which of these two occasions were you lying?

    1. Taylor Swift is an interesting person. I’ve read interviews with her on several occasions. She’s not only tech savvy, she’s tech cognizant. I mean she truly understands the world of digital media and how the effects her and her art.

      I don’t care for her music generally speaking, (well I kinda like Blank Space, it’s pretty funny, great lyrics, great video, great fantasy), but she’s an uncharacteristically intelligent young entertainer.

      I think she’s got a respectable beef with Apple.

      I continue to be impressed by her.

    1. Not sure of your point. A lot of rich kids want to be big in the music industry. But they’re not. She’s gotten to the top because she is 1) talented; 2) beautiful; and 3) a master of PR and social media.

        1. I’m not sure which people consider them unfair.

          Talent is something that you don’t really control; either you have it or you don’t.

          I can imagine someone would consider her background and upbringing (private schooling, rich family) as an unfair head start, but I can’t possibly imagine such opinion to be taken seriously. From their angle, surely this couldn’t be her ‘fault’ (that her parents had the means to afford excellent schooling for her). While it is statistically true that wealth and success tends to perpetuate wealth and success, it is also true that very many successful people became so after growing up in poverty. Modern society in the developed world of today has proper social support allowing anyone to grow up and accomplish whatever they are capable of, regardless of social status.

        2. I wouldn’t agree with that. Not anyone can grow up to accomplish what they are capable of. Most fall far short of capabilities. Some do, and a higher proportion of wealthy people do.

          All that being said, I don’t think wealth is an automatic advantage, as talent is most often a result of hard work and determination. You need to recognize a desire, cultivate that desire, and make sacrifice for that desire in order to excel in a field.

          Look at some of the great artists. The great famous ones were prolific producers of art. Hard work.

          Unless you’ve got a freaky abnormality like Michael Phelps, talent is usually more about work and support than genetics. Even Phelps had to coax and condition his freakish body. And to do that, he needed support and freedom to focus on that.

        3. Apparently, we actually agree on most things.

          I don’t think talent is the result of hard work and determination. I think talent is a quality you’re born with. Without talent, you cannot be a good engineer, actor, singer, dancer. Talent doesn’t guarantee anything, though. If you do have it, hard work and determination will allow you to develop it to its full potential.

          And I’m fairly certain that in a modern developed society, pretty much anyone has the opportunity to grow up to accomplish whatever they are capable of. Most don’t, and in majority of cases, it is their own fault (in that most people don’t have the determination and perseverance to work hard to develop their potential). In a few instances, it may be due to the factors beyond one’s control (race, ethnicity, other artificial obstacles in the society), but in most cases, it is due to lack of one’s own effort, and that’s perfectly fine. I’m fully aware I could have accomplished much more in my life, had I put more effort in my 20s and 30s, but I am more than happy with where I am in my life with the effort I put to get there. There are many people like me and thee i nothing wrong with that. Not everyone should be Steve Jobs…

    2. She attended Hendersonville High School (a public high school) through her sophomore year, then she started going on tour opening for different acts. Finished high school through Aaron Academy a private Christian school which offer home schooling. She finished high school in 12 months while on tour most of the time, with a grade point average of 4.0.

    1. The spotlight-attracting PR juggernaut is revving up as planned. Expect much more synthetic controversy as Apple Music rolls out.

      After it all settles down, it will be TV’s turn.

  1. When are the artists going to take a stand against the record companies? If they’re upset they’re not getting compensated properly as artists, it’s the record companies, not Spple they should be upset at.

  2. Well who would have believed that it would get this political this quickly!!

    Perhaps the left are impotent and for differing reasons I regard Obama in the same light as out Margaret Thatcher, a woman prime minister – what could go wrong! Well it wasn’t the woman that the left wanted, neither can Obama fulfil the promise laid upon his shoulders, it just doesn’t work like that these days.


    It as been the role of the musical artist for the last 50 years to be the conscience of society and, in fact, is the last 15-20 years they haven’t been up to the job. In fact Taylor Swift is not trying to change the world, just get a better deal. That’s capitalism! She is influential but so were the Beatles in a much more fundamental way. Just because she comes from a privileged background doesn’t mean she is not talented. Our Tony Benn was a viscount (later rebuffed) but he was one of the most democratic parliamentarians that there has ever been (and one of the most irritating but that is another story).

    No, people have to try to make change, that is what makes us people.

    Let the flames begin!!

  3. I believe that she has her public influence simply because she’s a person who is perceived as caring about others, yet who at least holds her own in her chosen profession. Simple as that.

  4. When I came to this thread I do what I normally do, clicked on the link to go to the article. In this case I was taken to an article headlined “Here’s the real reason Apple’s iMessage is misbehaving”. I gather it’s a bad link, not a big thing it happens. Under these circumstances I try to do my community duty and let MDN know about it if someone else has not done so, which I am doing now. I also, under these circumstances, copy the headline into my search engine to find the correct article and read it.

    What surprises me in this case is to see 33 comments, with the topic going way off base and onto the american diatribe.

    This is quite inspiring, I’m thinking of using it as a rule of thumb, a corollary to either Winston Churchill’s quote “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else” or Henry Ford’s “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”

    So far it would be something like “Americans will stick to any topic as long as it’s about america.” I might change it.

    So has anyone actually read the LA times article?

        1. I’ll never forget a quote from the early 2000s, from an exchange between GWB (the American president at the time) and general Jay Garner, a commander in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. After completing his service at that position, Garner came back to Washington for debriefing. Persons close to the events recollect the Presitent saying: You want to do Iran for the next one?” “No, sir,” Garner replied, “me and the boys are holding out for Cuba.”…

        2. I remember that, what a hoot. Thanks Predrag. Oh and your other comments are also very insightful and enjoyable.

          Same to Arnold Ziffel.

          Keep them coming.

        3. It’s nice to be appreciated, RW, especially with all those flak makers from the previous page.

          Merca needs at least one country to invade / attack per decade, so we’re set.

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