Don't upset the Applecart
Another week, another Taylor Swift blog. (I’d apologise but I’ve already made the point that Swifty basically owns PR, so I don’t feel too bad about it.)
This time, however, instead of enlisting the help of her many, many a-list pals, Taylor is taking on her own battle.
Having infamously removed her entire music catalogue from Spotify during the promotion of her hit album 1989, due to her disagreement with the company regarding her stance that “it unfairly compensates” artists, writers and producers, T-Swift has now locked heads with another technology-industry juggernaut, Apple.
Now, in the list of companies you really might not want to get tangled up in an argument with, Apple would probably be right up there. But then, when you’re Taylor Swift, a number of companies probably don’t want to argue with you either.
Her comments come off the back of the news that the soon-to-be launched Apple Music, a monthly streaming service, will be offering a free three-month trial for users who sign up to it, during which time artists would not receive a cent.
But what, I hear you ask, has the multi-millionaire Taylor Swift got to worry about? Surely this isn’t her battle?
Well, as Taylor herself says in an open letter to Apple on her Tumblr page: “These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child.” (See, master of PR, anticipating people’s opinions before they’ve even had the chance to make them.)
No, no, she admits she makes enough money to support herself, band, crew and management team through live shows. But this is Taylor Swift, everyone’s best friend, and her concern is not about herself, it’s about the newcomers – the artists, writers and producers who have just got their big break and will spend three months not reaping a single reward.
These are the people that Apple would have absolutely ignored had they not had one of Forbes’ most powerful women as their spokesperson.
As Swifty herself says: “These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much.”
And that is the other half of Taylor’s genius – while inadvertently attacking Apple for its policies she also uses the post to unashamedly praise them at every opportunity. Who could stay mad at that?
Not Apple, because, thanks to Swifty, they’ve done a complete U-turn and agreed to pay artists during the free trial.
Now, if using your good name and nature to speak on behalf of an entire industry, and win, isn’t good PR, I don’t know what is.