Taylor Swift bitching that Apple doesn't pay her for free samples



  • http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/06/taylor-swift-blasts-apple-for-not-paying-artists-during-free-music-trial/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+(Ars+Technica+-+All+content)

    This is a lot like that Tidal service, in that the point brought up is very good and important-- but at the same time, you're listening to multi-millionaires complain about not being paid enough, so you just kind of dismiss it out-of-hand.

    That all said, I think we can all agree that what Apple, the company whose arrogance and generally asshole-ish behavior has grown proportionally with their cash reserves. (And they were pretty fucking arrogant when they were broke in the 90s.)

    It's not Taylor Swift or any artist on the service who's choosing to give customers a 90-day free sample. It's Apple. Therefore, Apple (which, BTW, is drowning in so much money they literally have no idea what to spend it on and their investors are begging that they spend it on SOMETHING) should be responsible for covering the costs. Not pulling this, "well we didn't get a monthly fee from this user, and since we got zero you artists get your share of zero." That's bullshit and they know it.

    Oh and pro-tip to Taylor Swift and her incompetent publicist:

    If you're really arguing this to support the poor musician who's just getting started in the industry and badly needs that income, then maybe actually find a poor musician in that situation, have them write the article, then throw Taylor Swift's Twitter account in support of it.



  • I'm not a big fan of all these pop diva wannabes, but Apple is TRWTF here. It's nice they want to give a free trial, but unless they agreed beforehand with artists this was gonna happen, they should bear the burden.

    If a baker decides to give out free bagels as a promotion, he doesn't get to go back to the flour merchant and refuse to pay the bills. Your free promotion - your costs.



  • So, Blakey, what's next: You're railing against and insulting any and all multi-millionaires supporting someone making less money than them because they didn't write articles from the poor guys' viewpoints?

    Secondly: You don't become and/or stay a multi-millionaire by not being paid, throwing money away and being forced to give your product away for free.



  • @Rhywden said:

    So, Blakey, what's next: You're railing against and insulting any and all multi-millionaires supporting someone making less money than them because they didn't write articles from the poor guys' viewpoints?

    They can write articles about whatever they want.

    I'm just saying that when you're a multi-millionaire and you're go in front of the public with a message like, "I don't get paid enough and that's unfair to me and my 27 mansions!" you can't expect a lot of sympathy. It's bad public relations. (Even if they are correct about it being unfair.)

    Taylor Swift is lucky I even read this article after seeing the headline.

    Basically, I'm saying if they want the public to swallow the message, they need to deliver it in a way the public can swallow.

    @Rhywden said:

    Secondly: You don't become and/or stay a multi-millionaire by not being paid, throwing money away and being forced to give your product away for free.

    Of course; but they can be smart about how they communicate with the public. And don't these guys almost always have a guy on the payroll to do exactly that thing?



  • I can't for the life of me see where she complained that she "doesn't get paid enough".

    In fact, the article you linked has her saying the absolute opposite.

    Plus, if you rate someone solely based on headlines then you are TRWTF.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Plus, if you rate someone solely based on headlines then you are TRWTF.

    Inverse pyramid, man. The article starts with the most important information and moves on to the least important. Therefore: the headline is by far the most important information. Didn't you take journalism class in school?

    I think you'll find 95% of people who read the news stop at the headline or, perhaps, the first paragraph.

    I'm not saying that's right or good or not a WTF, but that's the way the world is and sometimes you have to cope with the world that exists and not the idealized world in your head.


  • SockDev

    @blakeyrat said:

    Of course; but they can be smart about how they communicate with the public.

    Looks pretty smart to me:

    "This is not about me," Swift wrote. "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."



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Inverse pyramid, man. The article starts with the most important information and moves on to the least important. Therefore: the headline is by far the most important information. Didn't you take journalism class in school?

    I think you'll find 95% of people who read the news stop at the headline or, perhaps, the first paragraph.

    I'm not saying that's right or good or not a WTF, but that's the way the world is and sometimes you have to cope with the world that exists and not the idealized world in your head.

    I still don't see where the headline has anything in common with your dubious grasp on reality regarding her statements.



  • Ok well I guess everybody better just pile-on Blakey then.

    I'm going to hit Mute on this thread in record time. Thanks, idiots I hate.



  • Classic: Starts an idiotic thread and then bails out when two people don't agree with his notions :laughing:

    That's a "pile-on"? I shudder to think what'd have happened if three persons disagreed.



  • I SUPPORT @BLAKEYRAT!

    Seriously, while I think her message is spot on (based on what I've read here), she'll probably come across similar to how Metallica did. If for no other reason than most people will probably hear about this from some buzzfeed clickbait garbage making fun of her for exactly the reasons he said instead of seeing the actual article.

    Then there's Jobs' residual RDF that must be bypassed to get through to the people who Apple might actually care about.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Seriously, while I think her message is spot on (based on what I've read here), she'll probably come across similar to how Metallica did. If for no other reason than most people will probably hear about this from some buzzfeed clickbait garbage making fun of her for exactly the reasons he said instead of seeing the actual article.

    And people like Blakey are to blame for that.

    I mean, he reads a headline "Taylor Swift blasts Apple for not paying artists during free music trial" and makes that a "Taylor Swift bitches that Apple doesn't pay her during free music trial".



  • @Rhywden said:

    And people like Blakey are to blame for that.

    :+1:



  • Maybe if they would have got an up-and-coming artist to write the article, they would have got a credible viewpoint on whether giving your stuff away for free can be worth it, as long as it gets into the ears of people who would otherwise never have heard about it.

    And if you think the amount of upcoming artists' tracks that are being listened to during people's free itunes trial is anywhere near the number of Taylor Swift tracks, you have got to be out of your god damn mind.



  • So Apple actually figured out that they where jerks:

    Updated @ 11:47 EST: Apple has apparently backtracked, with company senior VP Eddy Cue tweeting that "#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period." In a second tweet, he indicated that Apple changed course because of criticism from Taylor Swift and indie artists.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Didn't you take journalism class in school?

    Not a subject taught in many European (equivalents to American) high schools, to the best of my knowledge. Say “inverse pyramid” to people here and they’ll probably imagine a large stone building standing on its tip.



  • I dare say that if you ask any up-and-coming artist whether he wants to get paid in the next three months he'll answer a "I didn't want to pay my rent anyway".

    I'm not sure, however, why arguments become somehow "incredible" or "invalid" just because they stem from a source you don't like.



  • It is normally better to ask the affected individuals what their opinion is than to just go ahead and assume. How about you educate yourself on this subject before you just go around daresaying whatever imaginary bullshit pops into your head here.



  • You do realize that Swift wasn't the only one voicing her displeasure over this move?

    The Indie labels also weren't exactly enamoured with this, well before Swift entered the picture. However, Apple obviously didn't give a rat's ass about them.

    http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/06/uk-indies-join-apple-music-protest.html
    http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2015/06/french-indie-music-industry-joins-apple-music-protest.html



  • Oh. Trade unions. Maybe you should have said that then, instead of shoulder alien stuff about starving artists.



  • @Buddy said:

    Oh. Trade unions. Maybe you should have said that then, instead of shoulder alien stuff about starving artists.

    Oh, the usual crappy "I'll dismiss what you say because of my US-American attitude that any kind of organized association is automatically of the devil."

    In short, the kind of herp-derp reflex I've come to expect whenever something even remotely smells of unions.

    Ignoring the reasons why such associations are created in the first place and that you're conflating big labels and indie labels makes your sentiment especially moronic.

    But please, keep on refusing to acknowledge that mere hours after Swift gave her statement Apple caved. Plus, it doesn't really take a rocket scientist to calculate that three months of nothing is not exactly a great money maker.

    So, you just created a huge hit - chances are, however, that you're a one-hit wonder. You publish your single just at the beginning of those three months. How much money do you think a one-hit wonder makes after three months?



  • @Rhywden said:

    @Buddy said:
    Oh. Trade unions. Maybe you should have said that then, instead of shoulder alien stuff about starving artists.

    Oh, the usual crappy "I'll dismiss what you say because of my US-American attitude that any kind of organized association is automatically of the devil."

    In short, the kind of herp-derp reflex I've come to expect whenever something even remotely smells of unions.

    Ignoring the reasons why such associations are created in the first place and that you're conflating big labels and indie labels makes your sentiment especially moronic.

    But please, keep on refusing to acknowledge that mere hours after Swift gave her statement Apple caved. Plus, it doesn't really take a rocket scientist to calculate that three months of nothing is not exactly a great money maker.

    So, you just created a huge hit - chances are, however, that you're a one-hit wonder. You publish your single just at the beginning of those three months. How much money do you think a one-hit wonder makes after three months?

    Don't assume that the US hates all labor unions. It's just that we've had a few... abusive labor unions in our past.

    Case in point: When the US Automotive industry was tanking in the late 2000s, the United Auto Workers still wanted their $20+ per hour plus benefits for what is essentially unskilled labor and wouldn't budge an inch. This was one of the causes of the government bailout of the Automotive Industry in 20091.

    Musicians are also often associated with another "labor union"... the RIAA. Which is the one who is suing everyone it thinks it can for ridiculous sums of money for sharing music files. Yes, I'm aware the RIAA isn't actually a labor union, but it is to the eyes of the public.

    1 As someone who works in a General Motors (GM) town, I know more about this than the average person does.



  • I'm perfectly aware of that. It's just that Buddy's reaction is pretty much what I've come to expect.

    As a German teacher, I myself am member of a union for the simple fact that I'm not allowed to go on strike and thus need someone to represent my interests.



  • You're way off. This it's quite fun really; all I'm doing is making a very simple point—that despite claiming to represent small artists' best interests, nobody here has actually asked small artists what their concerns really are yet—and you're swinging wildly all over the show with wrong assumptions.



  • Yeah, sure, the CEO of Association Of Independent Music surely was lying when he stated this:

    Each individual member of AIM must, of course, make their own decision whether or not to sign this agreement, but many members have already expressed very real concerns about the consequences of doing so, hence our communication to the whole membership.

    But sure, for you it only counts if you ask the small man on the street.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I SUPPORT @BLAKEYRAT!

    Seriously, while I think her message is spot on (based on what I've read here), she'll probably come across similar to how Metallica did. If for no other reason than most people will probably hear about this from some buzzfeed clickbait garbage making fun of her for exactly the reasons he said instead of seeing the actual article.

    Then there's Jobs' residual RDF that must be bypassed to get through to the people who Apple might actually care about.

    I thought of Metallica too, but they're a bunch of assholes who sued their fans and Swift is calling out a business screwing their content providers. It's pretty easy to be on her side and not Metallica's at the same time.



  • Who does the association of independent music represent?



  • If you had actually read one of my links I posted earlier you'd actually know that.

    But, here: http://www.musicindie.com/home

    It's a non-profit, by the way.



  • I was hoping you'd realize that an organization that represents music labels doesn't speak for artists any more than an organization that represents the interests of employers cares about the employees.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Plus, it doesn't really take a rocket scientist to calculate that three months of nothing is not exactly a great money maker.

    Nor, for that matter, is streaming music for the musicians. Earlier today I was watching BBC World on which someone talked to a music industry type, and it was claimed in this conversation that a typical artist needs to have a song played four million times via a streaming service to make “American minimum wage” — though they didn’t indicate what time scale they were talking about.



  • You're obviously confusing indie labels with big labels like EMI or UMG. Once again.

    Plus your attitude of "unions are of the devil" shows its face again. It's a bit tiring.

    Here, that's one example of an indie label:

    @Gurth said:

    @Rhywden said:
    Plus, it doesn't really take a rocket scientist to calculate that three months of nothing is not exactly a great money maker.

    Nor, for that matter, is streaming music for the musicians. Earlier today I was watching BBC World on which someone talked to a music industry type, and it was claimed in this conversation that a typical artist needs to have a song played four million times via a streaming service to make “American minimum wage” — though they didn’t indicate what time scale they were talking about.

    Well, that's the other problem. Then again, it's still more than zero.



  • Blakey's totally right on this issue. The reason Taylor Swift wrote this instead of a true indie is that indie's are going to get screwed by Apple's streaming service, but popular artists are going to make a killing. Apple is famous for "curating" media services and signing special deals with artists and labels that have a lot of clout. No one will be able to find indie music on this service any more than they are able to find niche apps in the app store.

    Music getting the "Apple treatment" isn't exactly the digital revolution we've all been waiting for. Contrary to popular belief, this will raise the barrier to entry in the music world. If you don't pay a good publicist or sign on with a big label, then you'll just be lost in the background noise.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Rhywden said:

    It's a non-profit, by the way.

    In this day and age, that means fuck-all. The NFL is a non-profit also.



  • I'm not sure where you agree with Blakey.



  • @Polygeekery said:

    In this day and age, that means fuck-all. The NFL is a non-profit also.

    And this does invalidate their arguments exactly how? I see such statements as "attack the messenger, not the message" which is exactly what Blakey did here as well.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Rhywden said:

    And this does invalidate their arguments exactly how?

    It doesn't. But, it does take away from the false credibility that you tried to lend to it by stating that they are a NFP.



  • @Jaime said:

    Blakey's totally right on this issue. The reason Taylor Swift wrote this instead of a true indie is that indie's are going to get screwed by Apple's streaming service, but popular artists are going to make a killing. Apple is famous for "curating" media services and signing special deals with artists and labels that have a lot of clout. No one will be able to find indie music on this service any more than they are able to find niche apps in the app store.

    Music getting the "Apple treatment" isn't exactly the digital revolution we've all been waiting for. Contrary to popular belief, this will raise the barrier to entry in the music world. If you don't pay a good publicist or sign on with a big label, then you'll just be lost in the background noise.

    Yeah -- a good internet-radio DJ can do more for a small-time artist in terms of publicity and people who want to buy his or her music than Apple could, with the way Apple tends to behave, at least...



  • You're the one who's conflating things. All I'm asking is that before you claim to speak for artists, or any group, you should make a good-faith attempt to find out what that group actually wants.



  • @Polygeekery said:

    It doesn't. But, it does take away from the false credibility that you tried to lend to it by stating that they are a NFP.

    Well, judging from their rates they're not exactly gouging their members. 125 pounds per year (+VAT) - that's not a lot of money.

    @Buddy said:

    You're the one who's conflating things. All I'm asking is that before you claim to speak for artists, or any group, you should make a good-faith attempt to find out what that group actually wants.

    You obviously don't really understand the reasons for associations such as I presented. One of their main functions is EXACTLY this: Represent the interests of their members.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Rhywden said:

    Well, judging from their rates they're not exactly gouging their members. 125 pounds per year (+VAT) - that's not a lot of money.

    I am not arguing for or against them. I don't care. I just wanted to point out that NFP means dick.

    Most US hospitals are NFP.

    Hell, we once took on a client that was NFP...at our NFP rates, and they were NFP in org structure only. They were a vehicle that used economic development initiatives to turn a profit. I went back to them after I found out what they did and told them that they had to pay the full rate, just like the NFL would.

    NFP is not some sort of statement that invalidates all prior arguments.



  • Yes, you made your point. Do you have something worthwhile to contribute?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I already did.



  • @Gurth said:

    Nor, for that matter, is streaming music for the musicians. Earlier today I was watching BBC World on which someone talked to a music industry type, and it was claimed in this conversation that a typical artist needs to have a song played four million times via a streaming service to make “American minimum wage” — though they didn’t indicate what time scale they were talking about.
    Let’s assume that it means “for the recording session.” To that I say, ”So what?” The next 4 million plays require no additional work. Neither do any album sales or licensing deals for commercials, movies, or TV. None of these additional revenue streams require additional work of the artist, his children, his grandchildren or his great-grandchildren, yet they will continue to receive this revenue.

    That said, the question of whether streaming service should be paying royalties that radio does not is immaterial in this case. It has been determined that the answer is yes, and for Apple to decide that they’re immune to this requirement is total and complete bullshit. Whether TS was really standing up for the “little people” or not is also immaterial, because it had the effect of making Apple back down, which Billy Joe Jim Bob withholding his album ''Singing with My Dogs” could not have done.



  • I feel like I've made my point clear enough already. Until you can show that there is a minor artist who actually cares about streaming royalties, I'm done here.



  • @Gurth said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Didn't you take journalism class in school?

    Not a subject taught in many European (equivalents to American) high schools

    Probably not many Americans have taken it, either. When I was in school, it was an elective, but not one taken by many students. I don't know whether it was available when my kids were in HS, but if it was, neither of them took it.



  • @Rhywden said:

    I'm not sure where you agree with Blakey.

    Because they haven't read the background and don't understand what it's about. But it's simple: if you play someone's music, you pay for that music. Even staunch conservative blockheads like blakeyrant must agree.



  • What about the artists who don't get 4 million plays to begin with? As in, the struggling artists that are being used as political fodder here? Because as far as I can tell, by the time streaming royalties become more than pocket change, you're already a successful artist.

    @SirTwist said:

    Whether TS was really standing up for the “little people” or not is also immaterial, because it had the effect of making Apple back down, which Billy Joe Jim Bob withholding his album ''Singing with My Dogs” could not have done.

    But the question is: could she have done so without resorting to a complete fabrication about who's actually benefiting from this deal.



  • How exactly is this a "complete fabrication"?

    I'm also sure that this attitude: "Oh, you're only getting $20 anyway so it doesn't matter if we pay you." is a bit hypocritical.



  • Done.



  • @Rhywden said:

    Association Of Independent Music

    The fuck?

    If you're in an association, in what way are you independent?


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