Apple wasn’t going to pay artists during the 3-month trial period of its new streaming service. That didn’t last long, thanks to the power of unlikely renegade Taylor Swift, who saw injustice and alerted the Swifties. The Swifties are Taylor Swift’s intimidatingly loyal fans, with whom the star conducts an online relationship unlike any other between star and fans. (Swift has 59.2 million followers on Twitter. Even considering the likely fact that some of them are bots, Swift still rules over a powerful public opinion army.)
Swift said what anyone looking on knew: it wasn’t fair for Apple, the world’s richest company, to freely borrow the work of thousands of artists to launch its music service. Her note, as passive-aggressive as many of her ex-boyfriend songs, was titled “To Apple, Love Taylor.” The Taylor Swift note said, in essence: pay up, Apple. Starting immediately. Otherwise, I’ll withhold my megahit 1989. And I’ll rain down on you some bad publicity like you haven’t seen since John Sculley ran your company. Apple changed its mind. Fast.