Who can go after Apple? Not you. Not me.
There’s only one person we know of and she’s Taylor Swift, who recently took Apple to task — and won.
The kerfuffle was about Apple Music’s plan to bail out on royalties to musicians and bands during a 90-day period when it will “test drive” its new music streaming service, slated to start June 30.
Just a few days ago, Swift — perhaps the only mega-star that can make Apple cower — wrote a “diplomatic but stern Tumblr post” that (subtly) ripped Apple a new core.
“We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” Swift wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation,” reported the New York Times (NYT).
Apple’s reaction? It peeled back — big time.
“By midnight Sunday, Apple — one of the most powerful companies in the world– had capitulated to the 25-year-old pop star, saying it would pay royalties on all music for the three-month trials. One of its senior executives, Eddy Cue, even said he called Ms. Swift personally to give her the news.”
Swift’s throwing of the gauntlet came after more than a week’s grousing by artists, especially those with independent labels, who complained that the drop in revenue for them would be traumatic.
According to the NYT, “Dorian Cundick of CEB, a business advisory firm, said that Apple’s response to the situation was remarkable for the language of Mr. Cue’s public statements, which matched Ms. Swift’s informal but sincere tone. “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists,” he wrote on Twitter. “Love, Apple.”
In the meantime, Swift has indicated she will quarantine her latest album (Titled “1989) from Apple’s streaming service.
“The company’s new music app, Apple Music — which includes a subscription streaming service, a free Internet radio station and a media platform on which artists can upload songs and videos — has been highly anticipated,” noted the NYT. “But its announcement this month was also met with some grumbles from commentators that its many parts failed to add up to a cohesive whole.”
Swift has been praised for her measured, but insistent, social media strategy. It also helps that she has about 60 million followers on Twitter.
Which just goes to prove: the Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tweet.