This has been far, far better marketing exercise than their WWDC keynote.
TS looks good and Apple gets a shitload of free press for their new music service.
I feel dumber everyday I don't see this stuff happening.
It's like any conspiracy theory: think about how many people would have to be "in it" to make it work. Then think, what are the chances of none of them, ever letting anything slip. To anyone. Ever.
The chances are almost zero. People talk. The damage - to Swift, to Apple - it's just too large.
Therefore, this is not what you think it is. There is no deeper story here. Apple screwed up, Swift is influential, they probably thought they could get a bit of good PR from changing their minds, and they did. End of story.
Far more likely than apple planning this with her is apple anticipating her reaction (or if not her, somebody. Jay Z likes to make noise about streaming royalties too). Either they get a reaction from a celebrity and get to dominate the news cycles with their new product for a while, or they get to set a new precedent of not paying artists. Either way, apple wins.
No one did anything. A thing happened, it backfired, some people sat down and figured out a solution, are still richer then you will ever be at the end.
TS, her lawyer, some top guys in Apple and their marketing division? It could very realistically be less than 5 people.
I don't say I support the theory, just want to point out that it doesn't take much to write an open letter and then respond to it on Twitter.
From what authority do you speak on this topic?
TS has so far given me the impression of being business savvy and if I'm charitable to assume competence of her management company, I'd assume she would shy from legal minefields
Given the above priors, my estimation is that her lateat blog-post (like all others) was vetted by publicist(s) & legal advisor(s). YMMV.
I could similarly claim "OS X El Capitan is being QA tested six ways to Sunday" without being in Cupertino. You could ask me for proof and I would have none.
It doesn't require everybody to be in on it to execute this. It only requires one entity and that's apple.
Apple pings indie artists they know will get mad. The singer of the brian jonestown massacre is known for his rants. They get a bunch of people pissed off "Free music.. free music..." and wait for it to go viral. Then, flip the script and campaign done.
But again, i think they just did a good job of turning this nightmare into a positive.
Wearing my altruistic tin-foil-hat, I would argue that Apple wanted to pay indie artists all along (because it's art and they respect them!), but were afraid of the antitrust implications of doing that (re: ebooks litigation). So they made this deal (of not paying artists) to go public, knowing it will 'backfire' and Apple would have the grounds to 'reverse' their decision and pay artists.
swift has a lot of influence on her fans. It's not a minor threat that apple is facing.
a) Successful secrecy of new product development at Apple
b) Snowden revelations
c) Other things that we don't know about because people can keep their mouths shut
Now days pretty much every Apple product leaks in some way prior to announcement. From manufacturing CAD schematics to actual hardware prototypes.
See also Mark Klein's denouncement of their AT&T spying, which prompted a lawsuit by the EFF back in 2006, charging them with having created an "illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance".
There had been plenty of leaks over the years.
It's nonsense to think Occam's Razor is a kind of proof.
1. People care enough about what's being kept secret, e.g. the Apple Watch. As a result, it leaks and the agreement didn't work.
2. People don't actually care about what's being kept secret because it's really boring, e.g. almost every corporate agreement. So yeah, nobody talks, but that's because nobody cares.
Independents claim they could be forced out of business by free trial of new streaming service and withold popular artists such as Adele
This was the british press about 5 days ago, so I don't think it was that cynical. TS seems to have been the straw tha nudged the issue over the top.
Losing adele and taylor swift starts to give the product a black eye at some stage.
Apple has $$$$ plenty in the bank to subsidze a 3 month operating loss (or whatever).
Case in point: a mere six months after it launched, iTunes Radio had more listeners than Spotify:
Once they unify everything under Beats & iTunes Radio and make it an in-your-face feature of iOS, they'll have all the visibility they need. No reason to engage in some weird false-flag PR campaign like you describe.