Government regulators have launched an investigation into the Apple Music royalty payment plans. This came about after Taylor Swift publicly spoke out against the company and refused to have her most recent album, 1989, available in her Apple Music catalog. Swift's public letter caused a stir and is rumored to be the inspiration behind the sudden government probe into Apple, but what exactly are they expecting to find?
Officials in both the U.S. and Europe are scanning through the fine print in Apple's royalty agreements in search of antitrust violations, according to the New York Times. Apple plans to begin its streaming service on Tuesday, and rumors that Taylor Swift may have lowered the chances of people subscribing to Apple Music have already begun. So how much damage did Swift actually inflict on Apple?
In Taylor's letter "To Apple, Love Taylor," which was dubbed a publicity stunt, the pop star brought up some enticing facts about Apple's royalty payments. Specifically, Taylor Swift called Apple out for not paying royalties at all during the subscribers' trial periods and then taking three additional months to finally pay the artists. In the letter, Taylor notes the unfairness of the agreement for artists.
"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."Since Taylor's love letter to Apple, the company has not altered its business model for Apple Music. While many continue to believe that Taylor Swift could be detrimental to Apple Music, tech industry insiders think otherwise. Recently, the chief marketing officer of Fluent, Jordan Cohen, told the New York Times that Taylor could be helping to sell Apple Music to consumers.
"I don't think the episode has damaged their brand at all. More than anything, it served to shine a huge spotlight on its newest offering with a week to go until launch."Other insiders feel that Taylor's letter to Apple has brought up real-life issues with many of the music streaming services. Erik Ashdown, of the music creation service, Indiloop, recently issued a statement about Swift's outcry.
"What she says is gold, and at this point she has managed to attain so much brand power that it's hard for even companies like Apple to not pay attention."With Apple's launch for Apple Music just two days away, the government has yet to find any violations in the company's antitrust agreements. Taylor Swift has also denied that she was working for Apple in a huge Apple Music publicity stunt. What do you think; did Taylor hurt or help Apple Music?
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