The first thing that came to my mind when I heard about the Apple Music announcement is "doesn't matter...they won't get Taylor Swift's music and that's the only thing that's going to give them a big enough edge on Spotify given that she's the highest selling artist by far who refuses to put her music on spotify."
Of course, I wasn't wrong. Apple Music now doesn't stand a chance and is going to go the way of itunes radio. Yet, as much as I want to believe her defense of the music industry is genuine, it feels more like greed.
For one thing, she talks about the "struggling artist" and how she did this for him or her, yet new artists, even before spotify really became religion were handing out their music for free in order to build up a respectable fan base and only then they would start charging. The fact of the matter is Spotify helps artists compete with the Taylor Swift's of the world now that you don't have to make a decision between buying her cd and buying the cd of some country/pop singers you've never heard of. By refusing to compete with them in this space, she is effectively eliminating her competition and reinforcing a economic climate such that you see in the movie industry currently: either you make an insane ton of money or you make no money at all. Either you make cds with enourmous production costs or you compete with the millions of struggling artists who are making their music for basically free.
For another thing, she talks about how if Apple got rid of the free three month trial subscription, she would consider allowing her music to be streamed by their service. Apple is simply running a business and they realize that, even with Taylor Swift, three months of free music is a great incentive to try Apple Music even if you don't leave Spotify right away. It is an action that isn't taken lightly, but out of a healthy respect for the competition, which of course benefits the customer as competition always does. Yet, she wants to be paid for that first quarter of music presumably out of Apple's pocket. Realizing it will take far too long in an area of music distribution that they may never succeed in, Taylor Swift encourages Apple not simply to pay her while they lose money for three months, but to charge the consumer. This is a request which can only be of benefit to Taylor Swift, which she admits to, therefore, this "love letter" to Apple isn't that at all. It's a hostile demand to change their policies in order so that she can make more money even if Apple's business model, which has done wonders for her, falls by the wayside under the tyranny of Spotify. Yet, Apple is clearly willing to pay her a lot more for her music than Spotify is, possibly on a monthly basis and, who knows, maybe even related to her superior streams instead of just a blanket fee. Therefore, Taylor Swift's intense greed has also made her shortsighted.
There's a reason why more artists don't join Taylor Swift and it isn't about sales. Taylor Swift gets away with it simply because she is the only one who goes against the grain of Spotify and it is a large factor in why her last cd was the best selling record since "The Eminem Show." True, America likes blondes, but Taylor's "campaign for the artist" has put a lot of money in her personal pocket and very little in anyone else's-- not the consumer who has to go to itunes to buy her music instead of having it in their collection with the rest of their music on spotify, not Apple who led what felt like a year long campaign to help her promote 1989 giving up valuable ad space for an artist that probably didn't even need it, and not the "struggling artists" who will never NEVER get anyone to spend 20 dollars on their first album or even 10 dollars on their first EP.
Obviously, she should get paid. Artists should get paid. Teams should get paid. I think artists like Taylor Swift need to step back and allow their music to be streamed. I think Jay Z's business model for Tidal makes sense except for the fact that it does absoutley nothing for the "struggling artist" and doesn't pretend to instead opting to help making millionares and billionares more millions and billions (Taylor Swift streams her music on Tidal.)The way Taylor Swift conducts her brand is greedy, shortsighted, and, ultimatly, only benefitting herself.