Monday, June 22, 2015

Taylor Swift for President - Taylor does what politicians cannot do - stand up to corporate America!


I have been writing about Taylor Swift since we first became "friends" on MySpace back around 2006.  At the time her first album and single had just been released and she was a sixteen year old veteran performer being introduced to America.

Since then, well you know the story, Taylor soon became a hit, then a superstar, and now, at the ripe old age of 25, is a legend in the music industry.  Since that first album in 2006 released through a small, start up Independent record label Swift has swiftly become the reigning Queen of country music, then Queen of the pop-rock genre.

This year the granddaddy of financial magazines, Forbes, says Taylor is worth over $200 million and named her as one of the Most Powerful Women in the World, at number 65.  In fact, Taylor has sold over 40 million albums and over 100 million single downloads her first decade in the public eye.

In the process Taylor parlayed the Internet potential to become the first true sensation in the music industry to use the Internet to bypass the record labels through her sophisticated use of music videos, on line concerts, social media, Internet promotions, and about every other innovation discovered in this age of the Internet.

Did I mention she earned a 4.0 grade point in high school?

When I wrote how Taylor was far too big for country music, I received a flood of Country Swifties' emails blasting me for such an idea.  Then she released her newest album, 1989, in the fall of 2014, and crushed all singers in country, pop, rock, you name it.  By the way, it was her first pop album - in her own words not mine, and sold over 8.6 million copies.

So why Taylor Swift for President when so many are running already?

Before history buffs mention that she is too young to be president since our Constitution says you must be 35 to be president, I know and I am not talking about 2016.  Taylor has already demonstrated more guts than most politicians taking on the recording industry but she will be 35 when she takes office, if she runs for President in 2024.

Why start drafting her to run almost ten years ahead of time?  Because it gives Taylor the same amount of time to do things to help prepare for her future in politics as president. However, in the past year she has single-handed stood up to the largest music streaming company in the business, Spotify.  Then yesterday, she stood up to one of the most powerful corporations in the world, Apple.

Most consumers pay little attention but most people in the music industry make their money in the form of royalties paid for record sales and plays in the entertainment media.  Streaming services for audio, like Spotify, have to pay royalties to writers, artists, and producers, if they sell ad free subscriptions for around $10.00 a month.

Unfortunately, most streaming services do not have many subscribers.  What they do have are free members who get free music with a thick dose of commercials.  There are no royalties paid for the free service, even though ad sales generate money.  To illustrate the problem, Spotify has about 80 million users but only 20 million subscribers.  Thus, artists get a royalty on just 25% of their music on Spotify.  Taylor said it was not fair and pulled her music.

This weekend Apple announced the new Apple music streaming company and said no royalties would be paid to the artists for free trial members.  Taylor responded the same day that it was not fair to all those young artists and retired artists who would earn no royalty and said she would not allow her new record-setting album, 1989, to be part of Apple.

Here is what Taylor wrote to Apple.

To Apple, Love Taylor

I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.

I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.

This is not about me. Thankfully I am on my fifth album and can support myself, my band, crew, and entire management team by playing live shows. This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success. This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.

These are not the complaints of a spoiled, petulant child. These are the echoed sentiments of every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up publicly because we admire and respect Apple so much. We simply do not respect this particular call.

I realize that Apple is working towards a goal of paid streaming. I think that is beautiful progress. We know how astronomically successful Apple has been and we know that this incredible company has the money to pay artists, writers and producers for the 3 month trial period… even if it is free for the fans trying it out.

Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing. I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. I hope that soon I can join them in the progression towards a streaming model that seems fair to those who create this music. I think this could be the platform that gets it right.

But I say to Apple with all due respect, it’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.


Taylor used the Internet site Tumblr  to send her message to Apple, signed Love Taylor, and in minutes the social media airways lit up when the tens of thousands of Taylor Swifties started tweeting, re-tweeting and burning up the Internet.

Mind you, Apple's stock this week passed $700 billion in value and sophisticated investors say it should reach $1.26 trillion in value soon.  Amazingly, in less than 24 hours and after executive sessions and trying to reach Taylor, Apple became the first music streaming company to reverse itself and say, ooops, now they will test paying royalties for all free trial subscriptions.

Everyone's favorite sweetheart became a mighty lioness and brought the behemoth mighty Apple to their knees just to protect those artists, dedicated musicians, and technicians with no voice in our capitalist system.  That skinny country kid from Pennsylvania and Nashville grew up in a hurry, is now based in NYC, the really Big Apple, and is guiding fellow writers, musicians, and producers through some trying times in the music industry.   

When Taylor said enough is enough - Apple blinked, then cracked.

We need good hearted, intelligent, and strong women in politics who are young, successful outside of politics, and ready to rumble.  I urge the Swifties to start a draft Taylor Swift movement now so Taylor and the nation can be ready for her in just ten years.

Remember all those bankers who nearly bankrupted America and lost trillions of dollars in money from the little people?  Well no one in the Obama Administration, in fact no one in the Democratic or Republican party except for Senator Elizabeth Warren, has stood up to them, let alone got them to back down.

Perhaps Taylor can finally start throwing the crooks in jail since she is not a politician and is entering the race with no strings attached.

Taylor Tells the Truth!

Swift Justice to Crooks!

Swift says Stand up for Someone!

Taylor Swift will Sweep the Politicians Out!


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