Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Just for William/ Taylor Swift

What if Taylor Swift and other pop stars ran corporate America?  

Given Swift’s sound advice to Apple, they just might do better

Taylor Swift singlehandedly got Apple to pay royalties for all artists on its new music-streaming business.


Marek Fuchs


What did you do on Sunday? Mow the lawn? Hit the beach? Have a cookout? Well, Taylor Swift took on the world’s biggest company, and won.” — The New York Post Threatening to leave Apple AAPL, -0.26% breathless or with a nasty scar, Taylor Swift brought about considerable change. A singer famous for songs that stick in your head like earworms, Swift wrote a Tumblr post Sunday that criticized Apple’s decision not to pay musicians — or anyone else involved in the creation of music — for songs sold on its new streaming site for an initial period. By Sunday night, Apple caved.
A singer once known as the Bard of Puberty got a corporate force with a market value nearing $1 trillion to smarten up. Just like that, Apple and its miserly ways were, as Swift once so eloquently put it, “never ever ever getting back together.”
What does it mean that a singer known for her “sick beat” could affect such — and I apologize ahead of time for the groaner — swift change?
It means that, as Bob Dylan once noted, “The times they are a-changin’.”
Perhaps, in fact, this even heralds an age in which pop stars dictate corporate policy and maybe even start doling out stock-trading advice. Considering the chuckleheads usually in charge of such guidance, how much worse can it get?
Let’s check. Forget Top 40; these are the top three pieces of advice already given by rock stars:

1. “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away” — Neil Young
Wall Street apparently takes this bit of advice as outright inspiration. Bank of America BAC, +1.12% Citigroup C, +0.81% J.P. Morgan JPM, +0.68% and Goldman Sachs GS, +0.48% have all acted heedlessly under the assumption that they are too-big-to-fade. When they burn, we always save them — so why isn’t it better to burn? It is as if in one lyric, Young gave Wall Street its guiding principle for the modern age. But that should not surprise. As Bruce Springsteen opines: “We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school.”
2. “And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile” — Talking Heads
Sure enough, every time oil prices tick down, Americans drop their Prius fixation and start turning back to those SUVs the size of Bolivia. According to the Talking Heads, General Motors GM, +0.69%  and Ford F, +1.44% stand to benefit. And how about Tesla TSLA, +0.03% with its high-priced electric cars, batteries and intergalactic travel? A Talking Head research report entitled “Burning Down the House” puts it quite succinctly: “We’re in for nasty weather.”
3. “The exodus is here” — The Who
There is probably no clearer a signal to leave the market before the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates than The Who’s call to action. After nine years of low rates, the high rates presumably coming in the fall will indeed bring about a “wasteland.” And Alan Greenspan is weighing in all over the place on our higher interest-rate future, even though he almost ruined our past? Roger Daltrey frames the appropriate response: “Who the f- are you?”
See? We’ve already put rock stars in charge of Wall Street, and Swift, as always, seems to say it best: “I’m dying to see how this one ends.”


  1. That's my girl.

    One could argue that Taylor is protecting the 5th ammendment as Apple is so large as to almost represent a corporate nation state attempting use eminent domain to profit on the backs of creative talent.

    You go girl! Taylor for president!

  2. I don't begrudge her selling her music in any way she chooses... sign a contract or no... add or strike provisions as she will but the problem her is that she and powerful artists such as herself hold photographers to even more tightly controlled use of their work... including the inability for a photographer to use those pictures as part of a professional portfolio for which they may gain future employment and thus profit.

    If Taylor Swift doesn't want HER music used the way that Apple wanted, then she could quite clearly tell them.... No thank you! But to call them out as being, doing or acting any differently than her own production company is just hypocracy.

    1. The original deal Apple offered was 90 days free no royalties.

      I don't blame her.

      If you pay a photographer to the photo's for you, why should the photographer use them for for their own benefit?

    2. No, No… I didn’t clearly explain myself… these aren’t work for hire arrangements. They are freelance (but with a provisional contract) work that IF a particular publication uses the work, then they get paid otherwise their time, talent and equipment generate no income. This is precisely what Apple was doing. Present all of the available work for free and then when someone takes a deal then the photographer (musician) gets paid but has no rights to use any or perhaps all of the rejected work plus she and her production company have the right, in perpetuity to use any of the work created by the photographer…. So if she can offer photographers these typed of arrangements then why can’t Apple?


    3. Taylor's logic:

      I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music.

      I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans.

      I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.

      I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service.

      I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

      This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows.

      This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.

      This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt.

      This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

      “These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up.”

      These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child.

      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. We simply do not respect this particular call.

      I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress.

      We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.

      Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done.

      I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.

      But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this.

      We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.


      Every person has a right to either accept the terms offered r refuse them. In the case of the photographer, they could easily say no thanks or I will do it for x amount or the photos may be used by me to show my work. In business, everything is negotiable.

    4. I don't disagree with you Lou.... I said so in my very first line... it’s not about that, it’s about grandstanding on principle while creating the same corporate heavy approach in dealing with her photographers as Apple does with their musicians. The photographer that wrote the article obviously finds himself in the same position as a minor musical artist. Her stand is laudable except that it is clear that she finds the art that is rendered by the photographer is of lesser importance than that of a musician and the ability of a talented but little known photographer to force an agreeable contract is somehow superior to that of the minor musicians she is defending.

  3. Not to mention she's a great role model for young women.

    Dedicated, has a vision, talented, intelligent, and is driven to succeed all without the glitz of the trashy Cyrus.

    1. This girl deserves and has a huge following. She can move the needle and will be a major player in entertainment for a long, long time. Apple is smart to rethink it's position. Just a huge talent.