Taylor Swift Shaming Pays Dividends for Apple Music


Apple Music

Once Taylor Swift publicly shamed Apple Music into forking over money to artists during the three-month free trial period, a whole lot of artists (and consumers) had a lot more respect for Swift. As an added bonus for Apple, a lot more bands are ready to sign on to be involved with the new music-streaming service.

The Worldwide Independent Network, which is a global forum for professional independent musician industry, is now backing Apple Music, an honor it wouldn’t give before Swift made her move. “We are happy to support and endorse the deal,” Alison Wenham, Chief Executive of WIN, said in a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Other independent labels, such as Beggars Group, which has long been against streaming services, have had discussions with Apple Music since Swift helped change the landscape so such bands as Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Adele and FKA Twigs are now happy to be part of the service, EW reports. In addition, Merlin, a music-rights agency that reps 20,000 labels and distributors, has also signed on with Apple, partially because of Apple’s turnaround after Swift’s very public takedown of the service, Billboard notes.

Jack White Apple Music

The change may cost Apple a few bucks but it will likely pay for itself—not just with all the new songs that it will be able to add but how much bad publicity it has warded off from the public discovering song by song, artist by artist, what wasn’t on the service when it launches.

This is all taking place as Google launches its free, ad-supported Google Play Music streaming service in the US. Google hopes that once customers get to know the service, they will convert to the ad-free subscription model.

Meanwhile, Jay Z’s Scandinavian-based streaming service Tidal has canned its interim CEO after less than three months, the Wall Street Journal reports. Tidal, which has 770,000 paying members, is likely feeling the heat of Apple Music’s upcoming launch as well as the fact that Spotify and its 20 million paying subscribers continue to trounce it.

And speaking of Spotify, it’s not hitting pause on its plans. It just acquired Seed Scientific, a data analytics startup that previously crunched data for Beats Music. The deal will “presumably help Spotify improve its song recommendations for listeners, help musicians understand where their fans may be, and generate more targeted ads,” according to TechCrunch. Seems like a sound business plan.