Although 45% of American’s are pirating their music,
these same people are still buying as many DVD’s, CD’s, and subscription services as those who do not pirate music, according to a study by Columbia University.
A lot of that just comes down to saving a few dollars here and there. As the “broke college kid” and music lover that I am, I am constantly illegal downloading music. However, I always try to support my favorite artist’s by buying their albums/EP’s when they’re released.
I’ve purchased albums of Drake, Future, G-Eazy, Logic, Blackbear, and even started my three month free trial of Apple Music to support Chance the Rapper. And although, I listened (and still do) to “Coloring Book” religiously, it may not have been helping Chance make any money.
When Apple Music was first released in 2015 as a major competitor to Spotify, artist’s were already upset with the pay-out for streaming services. Even Taylor Swift had removed her music from Spotify. So when Apple launched their streaming service, they were more than ready to swoop up America’s sweetheart and have practically exclusive streaming rights on her music.
But, Apple tried to sneak a quick one, wanting to keep the royalties from that they made from any music streamed during user’s free three month trial.
This sounds a lot like a grocery store having a buy-one-get-one-free sale, and only paying Kellogs for half of the cereal they bought. Just because a company is running a sale or promotion doesn’t mean that they producer of that product shouldn’t be paid.
While those 3 months might not make a big difference for our elite musicians like Taylor Swift, it could make the world of a difference for smaller artists. Especially when a lot of people sign up for the free trial when their favorite artist releases music.
Imagine a small band finally signs a deal with Apple to stream their music, and all of their loyal fans sign up for 3 month trial to support them, but don’t continue to pay after the trial is up. Regardless of the success of the album, even if it entered the charts, they may have made essentially no money from the deal. While it’s still a great promotion for their band, money greases the wheels in the music industry, and without it, artists simply can’t compete.
So thank you, Taylor Swift for fighting back. While we know your 250 million dollar net worth doesn’t really need any more padding, you were the voice that the industry needed against Apple. The wealthiest company in corporate history simply didn’t need to listen to small artists.
Despite record companies from across the world protesting the free trial terms, Apple wasn’t backing down. A quarter of the world’s global music market was refusing to stream their music on Apple, which includes tens of millions of songs, and Adele, yet Apple was too big too persuade. Thankfully Taylor Swift was a bite out of the apple too big to ignore, and they decided to pay all artists what they deserved.
It’s too bad though, maybe Taylor would have written a break-up song about Apple.