Taylor Swift's letter on Apple Music was separate from label negotiations

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 2015
A blog post by pop signer Taylor Swift criticizing Apple Music royalties was preceded by talks with Apple by her record label, Big Machine Records -- but the singer wrote the post independently, according to an executive with the label.




Conversations began several days before Swift's open letter, which ultimately led to Apple agreeing to pay rights holders for music streamed during Apple Music's three-month trial period, Big Machine's Scott Borchetta told the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference on Monday. Borchetta said that he insisted on Swift and Big Machine being paid "from the first stream."

The executive claimed that he hadn't spoken with Swift earlier in the week, and was actually taken by surprise when she texted him a link to the post and the comment "Don't be mad."

"She was in Europe. I responded and said, 'You don't have any idea how good your timing is right now,'" Borchetta explained to the conference.

Apple capitulated on the same day as Swift's post. During a conference call with two Apple executives, Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue, Borchetta reportedly said that the company could "do the right thing," and have musicians around the world look at it as "the good guys."

SB Projects founder and Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun was also involved in the call, and told Brainstorm Tech that many more musicians and industry executives were protesting Apple's zero-royalty policy.

"Taylor pushed it over the edge. She made them aware it wasn't just the executives. Sometimes it's good to hear the artists saying it," he said.

Apple Music launched on June 30. Had Apple not agreed to change its policies, artists, publishers, and songwriters would not have received any payments for streaming traffic until October, after the expiry of the first trial subscriptions on Sept. 30.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22

    I always had a feeling it would be something like this. It seemed too unlikely that they would have changed their policy in just a few hours and only because of her. There were talks going on for a few days, and she was just one part of ... well, a Big Machine, I guess.

  • Reply 2 of 22
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

     

    I always had a feeling it would be something like this. It seemed too unlikely that they would have changed their policy in just a few hours and only because of her.


     

    You underestimate how popular she is. Besides, her argument was completely sound.

  • Reply 3 of 22
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,476member
    I do not believe she sent that independently of the negotiations. How did she know what the elements of the negotiations were unless someone told her. They probably told her knowing she would go to social networks and voice her feelings. Her record company used her to help their negotiations. The fact they came out now and makeing this statement backs this up, they doing damage control with apple and possibly her. There is no reason to make this public.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,399member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

     

    I always had a feeling it would be something like this. It seemed too unlikely that they would have changed their policy in just a few hours and only because of her. There were talks going on for a few days, and she was just one part of ... well, a Big Machine, I guess.




    Taylor Swift is a co-owner of Big Machine. Her voice is the same as the labels.

  • Reply 5 of 22
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,867member
    Hey, this issue is resolved and now in rear view mirror for Apple streaming music. We need to talk about TV streaming coming in near future!!!!
  • Reply 6 of 22
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,449member
    Is BMR really all that happy about her actions? BMR hadn't wanted [I]1989[/I] to be available on any streaming platform, but her letter required BMR capitulate.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    pkabirpkabir Posts: 16member
    I hope the government looks into Apple paying for three months of service, and I hope Apple asks Taylor to testify how this is not cramming. The simple fact of the matter is Apple negotiates rates with label/publishing houses and if artists don't like that they can cut the labels/publishing houses out. Streaming services are sending nearly all the revenue they make to the industry, if the labels/publishing houses are not distributing the fund, that is NOT the streaming companies problem, that is between the artist and the company that represents them. Further more just because Apple has a ton of money it does NOT mean they need to pay more "because they can afford it" that money was made by Apple selling HARDWARE not songs. Our dear Taylor Swift needs to take an economics class and learn about "subsidization" among other things (it doesn't hurt when your father owns your label).
  • Reply 8 of 22
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Apple Music launched on June 30. Had Apple not agreed to change its policies, artists, publishers, and songwriters would not have received any payments for streaming traffic until October, after the expiry of the first trial subscriptions on Sept. 30.

    To me that reads the artists would have started getting paid by all streams come October when the reality is they would have only started getting paid by Apple Music listeners who had started the 90 day trial when it first became available -and- then decided to pay and continue listening after the trial was over.

    ireland wrote: »
    You underestimate how popular she is. Besides, her argument was completely sound.

    Sure, she's quite influential, but that's not his point. Having Apple go from "no way" to "of course we will" within a few hours on a Sunday just isn't a likely scenario if you are saying that's it only had to do with TS' blog post. As was stated originally on this forum, negotiations surely would have already been in play. Don't ready into that TS' blog had no impact, only that it was not the only impact.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    pkabir wrote: »
    I hope the government looks into Apple paying for three months of service, and I hope Apple asks Taylor to testify how this is not cramming. The simple fact of the matter is Apple negotiates rates with label/publishing houses and if artists don't like that they can cut the labels/publishing houses out. Streaming services are sending nearly all the revenue they make to the industry, if the labels/publishing houses are not distributing the fund, that is NOT the streaming companies problem, that is between the artist and the company that represents them. Further more just because Apple has a ton of money it does NOT mean they need to pay more "because they can afford it" that money was made by Apple selling HARDWARE not songs. Our dear Taylor Swift needs to take an economics class and learn about "subsidization" among other things (it doesn't hurt when your father owns your label).

    There is so much wrong in your comment. Where the **** do you even get "Further more just because Apple has a ton of money it does NOT mean they need to pay more "because they can afford it" that money was made by Apple selling HARDWARE not songs" as an argument as to why artists and labels wanted per stream payouts for their media? Did you eve read the article?
  • Reply 10 of 22
    pkabirpkabir Posts: 16member

    So you are saying that musicians are entitled to money that Apple made from selling the iPhone? That is not how it works, Apple sends iTunes sales monies minus its cut for maintaining the store, servers, CDN, and bandwidth costs. That money then goes to labels/publishers (who negotiate rates on behalf of their clients) and THEY are responsible for paying artists, songwriters, producers, etc. For example if you went to go buy a car, do you think because you have more money then the next guy should you pay more for the same car? Unfortunately for the music industry music has become and commodity and it cannot fetch the prices it did when they controlled the stack (pre-digital). iTunes/Software/Services only accounts for 11% of Apples GROSS revenue and that includes stuff like regular app sales and iCloud Drive (which to be honest is probably more than just plain music sales). The bigger question is do you think Apple should subsidize the music industry above and beyond rates they negotiate? If so that is illegal and in which case the Justice Dept, will go after Apple just like it did with the price fixing in the iBooks store. Apple is a 1st a iPhone company, 2nd a Mac company, and 3rd a iPad company that is 85% of their revenue and all of those are hardware based as the software is free. So specifically which part did I misunderstand?

  • Reply 11 of 22
    [B]Ha[/B] that's [B]EXACTLY[/B] how I said it happened and many people didn't believe me.

    Swift was just nothing more than the benefactor of timing nothing more.

    She can think she's the most powerful performer today but all its going to take for her downfall is to setup a fun park home and let little girls stay over. ????
  • Reply 12 of 22
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pkabir View Post



    I hope the government looks into Apple paying for three months of service, and I hope Apple asks Taylor to testify how this is not cramming. The simple fact of the matter is Apple negotiates rates with label/publishing houses and if artists don't like that they can cut the labels/publishing houses out. Streaming services are sending nearly all the revenue they make to the industry, if the labels/publishing houses are not distributing the fund, that is NOT the streaming companies problem, that is between the artist and the company that represents them. Further more just because Apple has a ton of money it does NOT mean they need to pay more "because they can afford it" that money was made by Apple selling HARDWARE not songs. Our dear Taylor Swift needs to take an economics class and learn about "subsidization" among other things (it doesn't hurt when your father owns your label).



    Apple Music is available on all platforms or will be in the future. Secondly, Apple isn't paying significantly more than other services for the same thing. Spotify pays for free music via the ads. 

  • Reply 13 of 22
    pkabirpkabir Posts: 16member

    Yes, I had heard that. Just for what its worth, that still would not make "cramming" legal.

  • Reply 14 of 22
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pkabir View Post

     

    Yes, I had heard that. Just for what its worth, that still would not make "cramming" legal.




    I edited my comment also because Apple isn't the only one paying artists for free streaming. Spotify is also. 

  • Reply 15 of 22
    pkabirpkabir Posts: 16member

    The paying isn't the problem per say, its the length of time that they are paying. Essentially the fact they have so much money they could have a long (3 months) free trial something that Spotify/Rdio/etc cannot afford to do, that is the problem, that is the illegal part. It can allow a rich new player to come in and price out other players.

     

    Spotify has some major structural revenue issues, if its going to survive and make a profit. As it stands now, not matter how successful they become they will never be able to turn a profit. At some point they need to move all if not the majority to the paid tier, the free ad service doesn't make enough money.

  • Reply 16 of 22
    arlorarlor Posts: 490member

    Taylor Swift was just the first really major artist to complain publicly. Others would've followed if Apple had persisted after her letter. 

  • Reply 17 of 22
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 412member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pkabir View Post

     

    So you are saying that musicians are entitled to money that Apple made from selling the iPhone? That is not how it works, Apple sends iTunes sales monies minus its cut for maintaining the store, servers, CDN, and bandwidth costs. That money then goes to labels/publishers (who negotiate rates on behalf of their clients) and THEY are responsible for paying artists, songwriters, producers, etc. For example if you went to go buy a car, do you think because you have more money then the next guy should you pay more for the same car? Unfortunately for the music industry music has become and commodity and it cannot fetch the prices it did when they controlled the stack (pre-digital). iTunes/Software/Services only accounts for 11% of Apples GROSS revenue and that includes stuff like regular app sales and iCloud Drive (which to be honest is probably more than just plain music sales). The bigger question is do you think Apple should subsidize the music industry above and beyond rates they negotiate? If so that is illegal and in which case the Justice Dept, will go after Apple just like it did with the price fixing in the iBooks store. Apple is a 1st a iPhone company, 2nd a Mac company, and 3rd a iPad company that is 85% of their revenue and all of those are hardware based as the software is free. So specifically which part did I misunderstand?




    Guess what: the artists say that that THEIR music isn't available for free. Period. So whatever part did you misunderstand?

  • Reply 18 of 22
    pkabirpkabir Posts: 16member
    Well if they are with a label or publishing company they don't have the rights anymore. You aren't paying attention to what I'm saying. That's fine if they want to get paid, but don't bitch to Apple, their actual beef is with there label and publishing who are licensing the music. Apple is taking heat that needs to be redirected at labels and publishing houses, which to be honest should go the way of the dodo and then artists can work directly with Apple and cut out the middle man. My sister is a professional musician with some big cuts I definitely have a intimidate knowledge of all the bs red tape. All I'm saying is Apple, ain't the problem.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    krawallkrawall Posts: 156member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    There is so much wrong in your comment. Where the **** do you even get "Further more just because Apple has a ton of money it does NOT mean they need to pay more "because they can afford it" that money was made by Apple selling HARDWARE not songs" as an argument as to why artists and labels wanted per stream payouts for their media? Did you eve read the article?



    There wasn't really much wrong with his comment. What you feel is right is not necessarily so. The deal has been inked between Apple and the artists' representatives. If they didn't like it, why sign?

     

    Further

     

    >>"Taylor pushed it over the edge. She made them aware it wasn't just the executives. Sometimes it's good to hear the artists saying it," >> he said.

     

    Really? So they complained along the way, but still signed it? They basically ignored what their artists wanted, the ones they represent. So the MI will verbatim copy GTAT's statement of "driven into bankruptcy by unethical contracts that solely favour Apple"?

  • Reply 20 of 22

    The moment Apple Music was on my iPhone, Shake It Off was one of the songs I streamed and saved for off-line listening. Just because!

Sign In or Register to comment.