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Taylor Swift Speaks Out Against Apple Music
By: Cindy Wendland
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Taylor Swift is the most successful recording artist. She is a young woman with incredible talent. She also has clout in the music industry.  In a TIME magazine article, she said “Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things. They keep running towards streaming, which is, for the most part, what has been shrinking the numbers of paid album sales.” So, she took a stand and pulled her 1989 album from Apple Music.

Swift feels it is important to place value on art and music. She likes that on Beats Music and Rhapsody people have to pay for a premium package in order to access her albums. Anything that is free doesn’t have value. Anything that people have to pay for has value. The issue she has with Apple is that on their streaming service, they are offering 3 months free as a way to lure customers to sign up. During that 3 month time period, Apple is not paying the artists. That is interesting.

There is a cost for acquiring customers. AOL was one of the first companies to offer 3 month free promotion to get customers to sign up for their service. We modeled a software update program off that very same promotion and had great success. Our cost of putting the data together remained the same, and we still had to pay our vendors during that time. We never considered not paying the people who provided the data in the update. Yet that is what Apple is doing. They are not paying the artists for those free 3 months, so basically the artists are covering the cost, not Apple. That is one way to transfer cost but not a good way to build strong relationships. Case in point is with Taylor Swift. She does not feel valued and pulled her latest album from that service.

Two things stand out. Taylor Swift is an amazing performer and brand. She continues to stay true to her brand by protecting her value. Apple is one of the smartest marketers. Transferring cost is a great way to be profitable. Unfortunately the two don’t go hand in hand. We side with Taylor Swift.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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