Ross Gilmore/Getty Images for TAS
If you're into conspiracy theories, we've got a doozy for you.
Earlier this week Taylor Swift published an impassioned letter to Apple Music that criticized the company for not compensating artists for music that is streamed during the service's three-month free trial period. She threw out some harsh words, calling the practice "shocking, disappointing and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company." Burn.
Then magically, mere hours after the letter went live, Apple announced that they would in fact start paying artists royalties during the 90-day period. Poof, voilà, abracadabra. Just like that, artists (especially indie artists) everywhere began to feel more fairly compensated and the people of the world rejoiced and praised Taylor Swift's magical powers, convinced that she has the ability to straight up change the world. The world!
And then this morning came another development. After months and months (and months) of withholding her music from streaming services, Taylor announced that she was going to put her album 1989 on Apple Music. What caused this abrupt turnaround? Feelings!
"After the events of this week, I've decided to put 1989 on Apple Music...and happily so," she wrote on Twitter. "This is simply the first time it's felt right in my gut to stream my album. Thank you, Apple, for your change of heart."
Now to some this may just seem like a coincidental, if fateful, turn of events. Taylor finally got one of those big bad streaming services to listen to her, and she was so inspired that she felt the immediate desire to share her music with the world—for a fee, of course. But others are not so sure. To inquiring minds, this reeks of controversy. Well perhaps not controversy, but certainly well-timed and well-planned public relations strategy. And as savvy music fans have pointed out, not only is the timing of all this suspect, but the choice of providing Apple Music and not Spotify with the album is a little odd. After all, they're basically the same service with nearly identical pay structures.
Is there a possibility that this entire thing was orchestrated behind the scenes to bring press to the rollout of Apple Music, which incidentally is happening in a matter of days? Could it be that this was the perfect way to get all sorts of attention on both the service's release and Taylor's ongoing 1989 world tour?
You tell us. We think we sense a mystery just waiting to be investigated.