Country Music Enterprise Currents

How Taylor Swift got iTunes to reverse its music streaming course is just as jaw-dropping as that she did it

At a time when guns, violence, protests and aggression seem to be the chosen method of communicating one’s point, Taylor Swift pens a prolific column swaying iTunes to reverse its upcoming streaming strategy. The world could learn a lot from Taylor Swift about how to make a point without shedding blood, even amidst “bad blood”.

On June 30th, iTunes is set to launch its new music streaming service, Apple Music, which tantalizes customers with a free three-month trial period. Translating in short to a multi-billion dollar music mogul providing free music streaming to its customers in hopes to convert them to paid subscribers. Missing from the iTunes launch pad, though, was payment to writers, producers and artists for use of their music for three months.

Interestingly, on the “B” side of the melody, Quartz writers Tim Fernholz and Heather Timmons report that “according to executives at Spotify, a free tier is often necessary to convert interested customers into loyal subscribers. Tidal, the music streaming service owned by Jay-Z, has no free tier and has run into this problem, leading analysts to predict its failure”.

Well, as far as Taylor Swift is concerned,

Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing”. Swift announced, “I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music.”

Apple tuned into Taylor’s Tumblr announcement, reversed its decision and promised to pay artists during the free three month trial period.

But it’s not merely that Swift affected such change, it’s how she did it that’s just as jaw-dropping.

Utilizing a unique viewpoint, complimentary reverse psychology, the art of persuasion and straight-up fact, Taylor swiftly took to Tumblr and eloquently informs Apple their June 30th free streaming launch will not include her pop-debut “1989” album.


No slander, no degradation, no accusation.

No protests, no brutality, nobody got hurt.

Using the signature voice she’s known for in her song lyric, Swift candidly serenades,

we know that this incredible company (Apple) has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period.” And that she hopes “that soon I can join in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music.”

With eloquence, not arrogance, Taylor had iTunes by the Adam’s apple, leaving them speechlessly at her mercy.

Closing her open letter with an unashamed:

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation

certainly left no room for Apple to debate.

It sounds to me like the world’s biggest selling artist is as brilliant at penning opinion pieces as she is at writing songs.

Could Taylor Swift’s next award be a Pulitzer Prize?
What do you think of Taylor Swift‘s success at swaying Apple to change is streaming plans? Will you be trying out Apple’s upcoming free Apple Music streaming service?
Share your thoughts below. Let’s talk about this.

About Christine McDonald (31 Articles)
Christine McDonald is a Boston-based copy, content and column writer, crafting copy for the arts, entertainment, holistic health and spiritual markets. Christine's been "Writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and a thought™", hooked on country since conception and studied songwriting with the Boston chapter of NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International). When Christine's not writing she enjoys family, friends, food, pets, photography, reading and the ocean.

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