Who knew that Taylor Swift was such an amazingly scary and powerful person? Certainly not us! We were shocked and surprised when the I Knew You Were Trouble singer saw Red and proved to be Fearless by removing her entire back catalogue from Spotify earlier this year. But we were even more astounded when she took a bite out of the mighty Apple through a well written, if not slightly threatening, open letter.
Taylor the Terrible
The bosses of Apple’s new music streaming service were so taken aback by T-Swizzle’s letter to them that they’ve changed their set-up after the 25-year-old criticised them for failing to offer payment for artists during a free trial for fans. The Love Story hitmaker wrote a blog post aimed at Apple Music officials last week to explain that she’s withholding her latest album 1989 from the service because she’s unhappy with plans to give customers a 90-day free trial. Swift called the decision not to pay musicians for their material during that trial period “shocking” and “disappointing” and urged Apple to change the policy.
Apple’s Swift Policy Change
Her letter caught the attention the company’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, subsequently put in a personal phone call to Swift to announce they are now changing their payment plan so artists can be compensated during the trial. Cue told Billboard.com: “We’ve been hearing a lot of concern from indie artists about not getting paid during the three-month trial period. We never looked at it as not paying them, but when I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change.” He added: “I actually did talk to Taylor and I let her know that we heard her concerns and are making the changes. She was thrilled and very thankful.”
Swift added in a post on Twitter: “I’m elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.” Her boyfriend Calvin Harris was also delighted by his missus throwing her weight around and tweeted: “I just played a gig inside a giant owl and my girl just changed the entire music industry what a day.”
TSzwizzle’s a Hypocrite
Not everyone was proud of Taylor though, with photographer Jason Sheldon labelling her a hypocrite. He posted a copy of the contract each freelance photographer is made to sign when taking pictures at her shows, which stipulates images can only be used once, with worldwide rights then belonging to her. He added: “How are you any different to Apple? How about making sure you’re not guilty of the very same tactic before you have a pop at someone else?” He added: “Photographers need to earn a living as well. Like Apple, you can afford to pay for photographs so please stop forcing us to hand them over to you. With all due respect to you too Taylor, you can do the right thing and change your photo policy.”