At WWDC 2015 Apple announced their all new music service “Apple Music”. A competitor in the streaming space that would compete with services like Spotify & Tidal. However one other competitor it’d have to take on would be the very industry itself. It’s no secret that streaming isn’t in the best interest as far as revenues go for artist/labels. Many artists have very vocal opinions on this such as the famously known artist Taylor Swift. Even having removed her music from Spotify to show support.
Music Is Art, and Art Should be Paid for -Taylor Swift
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Taylor took the same stance with that of Apple’s streaming service last night as she published a open letter to Apple on her Tumblr. The letter focused on how she wouldn’t be releasing her music via the service & also centered on the idea that Apple wouldn’t be paying artists for the 3-month trial period they’d be offering. That it would mainly effect new artists on the platform trying to etch out a living & that there work shouldn’t go unnoticed despite Apple claiming the revenue would be made up from paying customers in the months to come & through other avenues.
This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.
As the internet ranted & raved about her open letter & dislike for the policies Apple on the other hand responded within 24 hours. Eddy Cue Apple’s VP of internet software took to Twitter & tweeted the following:
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Now I’m sure this isn’t something that just Taylor Swift had been complaining about. Indie artists, other famous icons, and so on have all been vocal on the streaming platform approach & how it should reply to artists. However you can’t doubt that in this case Swift had some influence in changing Apple’s mind.
We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple
— Eddy Cue (@cue) June 22, 2015
Whether or not this means we’ll see her library hit Apple Music is to early to be determined. Apple Music comes out June 30th for everyone to use free for 3 months while artists will be receiving payment. I agree on the stance that a company like Apple should be able to supplement artists with no problem or hit to their financials. Just like their developers they need to take care of their artists indie & main stream alike. However I do also believe the industry needs to change to see the consumers point of view & how streaming services & other forms of consuming content are on the rise. While people still buy music through iTunes & not just albums anymore or physical media they need to realize this change & develop monetization platforms around it. Now lets be honest main stream artists aren’t directly being effected as they generate millions & majority of their income from tours etc.
There is still a lot of change that has to go on for the industry to adapt this change & for other artists to support these platforms. But in Apple’s case this is one decision that should have been made from the get go.
To Taylor, thank you for speaking on the behalf of those who don’t have as much a voice & influence. It just goes to show the impact the internet & a blog post for that matter has in 2015.