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The Taylor Swift-Apple Conspiracy Theory

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Taylor’s fake outrage against Apple?

 

Everyone has followed the story and was relieved with the happy ending: after Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple asking the giant company to pay artists during the free three month trial period, Apple changed its policy very quickly. And now Taylor Swift has announced that her last album ‘1989’ will be streamed on Apple’s service:

‘After the events of this week, I’ve decided to put 1989 on Apple Music…and happily so,’ she tweeted, ‘In case you’re wondering if this is some exclusive deal like you’ve seen Apple do with others artists, it’s not. This is simply the first time it’s felt right in my gut to stream my album. Thank you, Apple, for your change of heart.’

Feels right in her gut, sure! In her bank account too? But this is beside the point, there’s more to the story, some people are becoming more and more suspicious that the whole deal was just a stunt, and that Swift was secretly cooperating with Apple from the beginning. Who are these people, some new conspiracy theorists? They are random faces on Twitter expressing doubt, but also Tom Conrad, Pandora’s co-founder, who tweeted a series of interesting sentences:

1/ Spotify, YouTube, Pandora and others all pay artists for their free tiers and trials. It’s the right thing to do.

2/ Swift took her new album off Spotify not because she’s not paid, but because she feels their free service “devalues music’

3/ Swift never pulled from YouTube which is the most popular free service and certainly devalues music if Spotify does.

4/ Swift’s career was built on terrestrial radio play, which is a free service AND doesn’t pay recording artists a dime.

5/ Apple isn’t getting rid of its long free trial, but is now going to pay artists. This simply puts it at parity with all other players.

6/ Reminder: Apple uses music to make billions off hardware. Artists see nothing from this.

7/ Swift’s letter and Apple’s response is mostly theater. Nothing here to suggest Apple treats artists more fairly than anyone else.

8/ My point is this: there is too much animus between artists & Silicon Valley. We shouldn’t herald this move as progress. It’s status quo.’

So….I don’t know but it is very tempting to believe there’s some truth into this. Think about it, Taylor has everything to gain, she appears very powerful, since Apple, one of the most powerful corporations in the world has capitulated at her will. But Apple, what does it have to gain? Well, the giant company looks like the compassionate guy in the story, doing the right thing whereas it’s doing what it should have done in the first place. Each part has something to gain beside some very good publicity all week-long. Plus, people in general think that Apple’s change of mind was a bit too quick to be believable. So what do you think? Isn’t it a perfect little theory?

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