Why Is Taylor Swift the Only Independent Apple Gives a Sh*t About?

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Apple didn’t have much to say when Digital Music News leaked their unfavorable contract.

They had nothing to say when Beggars Group wrote a letter. They had nothing to say when The German Association of Independent Music Companies and the Union des Producteurs Phonographiques Français Indépendants wrote open letters.

Apple frankly didn’t give a shit until Taylor Swift wrote an open letter. Eddy Cue even told Buzzfeed: “…Taylor’s tweet today solidified the issue for us and we decided to make a change.”

Yes, Swift put Apple’s three month policy on blast. But she also gushed about how much she loves the company. She claims to be looking out for the little guys, if that’s the case then how can she simultaneously love Apple after this?

Apparently the only independents Apple cares about are the ones at the top of the charts and distributed by a major label.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more: @nine_u

22 Responses

  1. anonymous

    Taylor Swift is on Big Machine, who is distributed via UMG. So if you put 2 and 2 together, you’ll quickly see she is very very far from being an Indie.

    Semantics aside – she’s amazing.

  2. Whawha

    Come on people.. Don’t be naive..
    Swift didn’t single handedly make Apple change. She just made the matte even more known in the media, because, well, she’s Taylor Swift, and that’s how the media works ( young sexy singer draws more attention than bland anonymous indie label representative). If anything , blame the media.
    The whole thing got even more publicised than before, Apple panicked and reacted swiftly (sic), they didn’t want hordes of Swift’s fans blaming Apple.
    The word was that Apple was already changing course, but Swift precipitated their reaction.

  3. Willis

    What is all the fuss about Apple when we have Tidal?

  4. dubwise

    Isn’t it fairly obvious that the terrible PR and the prospect of launching with big holes in its catalogue had already brought Apple to its senses and Swift’s nicely-crafted blog post was the tipping point for an announcement? This is a pretty silly post.

  5. Anonymous

    This isn’t rocket science, Nina.

    Apple does not care about Ms. Swift. It cares about media.

    • anonymous

      Let’s be honest though, Digital Music News isn’t really known for publishing thought provoking editorials.

      • Nina Ulloa

        which is why every other publication was calling out apple instead of celebrating taylor swift.

        oh, wait…

  6. dbargaehr

    “Yes, Swift put Apple’s three month policy on blast. But she also gushed about how much she loves the company. She claims to be looking out for the little guys, if that’s the case then how can she simultaneously love Apple after this?”

    Pretty simple. Apple did this wrong, but they also do a lot of stuff right. My wife does stuff that wrongs me every once in a while, but she also does a ton of stuff right. I can simultaneously disagree with something she did that wronged me while still loving her.

    Things are deeper than a teaspoon, internet. One good deed or one mistake does not a hero or villain make.

  7. Anon

    The only change here is the 3 month thing — the Apple Music thing is still the end of making money from making records.

  8. T-Swizzle

    We still need Taylor to fix Apple’s non-interactive radio payments (e.g. Pandora-style). If a user is part of Apple’s iCloud, then the agreement says any streams to that user are considered “Non-Royalty Bearing”. Since most of Apple’s users are using iCloud (whether they know it or not), Apple will not be paying for the majority of their radio streams.

  9. Versus


    We need a proper statutory rate, fixed or at least minimum, for streaming.

    If the only way this can be achieved is through doing away with the unlimited streaming tier, or making it very expensive, as a luxury should be, then so be it.

    Start with different tiers of subscription: 5000 streams/month, 1000 streams/month, etc, and price accordingly.

    • Sarah

      What do you think of the idea of micro-subscriptions?

      Not on individual websites, of course, that wouldn’t be consumer-friendly at all. But on a single website, where it’s just a click or two for consumers to add/modify their current subscriptions, I think it could be an effective way of keeping the convenience/experience of unlimited streaming for consumers but improving the payment/revenue distribution model.

  10. jr

    I see no reason to dump on Taylor Swift, she has been standing up for what she believes in for a while now, which is remarkable given that no other artist with her clout has done anything like it. Where are any of the top money makers on any issue other than Tidal?

    The cost of paying artists for three months is less than an hour’s income for Apple, this was a PR move and a very astute one on everyone’s side.

  11. Noah

    I think another good question is: how in the hell is taylor swift considered independent by any stretch of the imagination? Her videos cost literally millions to make. indie