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It’s Taylor Swift’s world, and us peasants are just living in it. In what has to be hands down the most illuminating example of the 25-year-old global pop phenomenon’s influence, an open letter she posted to her Tumblr account criticizing Apple for refusing to compensate musicians during the company’s three-month free trial for Apple Music, soured Apple so much that they have publicly reversed their decision and will now pay royalties for songs streamed during the free trial. Oh, and this all went down in less than 24 hours. Simply put, Taylor Swift gets shit done.


One of Apple’s Senior Vice Presidents, Eddy Cue, took to Twitter to announce that the company took Swift’s well-penned letter to heart—or in reality, scrambled to ensure that Swift’s catalogue, particularly her latest smash album “1989” which is not currently available on any online music streaming service, would be a part of Apple Music’s archive.

In a series of tweets, Cue revealed that Apple changed its tune and would pay artists for their content streamed during a user’s free trial period. He then subsequently bragged in interviews about a phone call with Swift where she no doubt told him she would never ever ever get back together with Apple if her demands weren’t met, all the while composing her next inevitable smash hit, “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From My Tree.”

It’s an almost unbelievably powerful display of influence: a young woman impacting and reversing the policy of one of the world’s most predominant tech companies. Swift persuading Apple to (fairly) fork over money is about as inspiring as you can get—the little guy, or gal in this instance, standing up to and toppling a Wall Street heavy-hitter.

Despite the fact that Swift is an empire herself, her reasoning wasn’t purely self-serving by any means. Rather, she went to great lengths in her letter to explain that many newer artists that have not reached her level of fame or notoriety depend upon the royalties of these streaming services, and the practice of withholding pay for their work and product would be ludicrous in any other service or industry. Swift was spilling truth tea and Apple was forced to gulp it down.


The timing of all of this is particularly interesting when you look at TIDAL, the troubled, artist-owned streaming service from Jay Z. For everything that’s wrong with TIDAL—and that list is about a mile long—its intention to fairly compensate songwriters and artists is noble. That Taylor Swift managed to successfully advocate for this cause for a rival streaming service has been nothing short of a welcome saving of face for Apple, and another nail in TIDAL’s coffin.


Presumably, now Apple Music will have access to “1989,” an album that has already sold more than 8.6 million copies worldwide in less than a year. As for Swift, she’ll be earning her rightful money’s worth while receiving the respect of industry heads as the new poster child for the underdog musician everywhere. Apple – 1,  Swift – all of the points.

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