You want USB ports on your new MacBook? Tough. You want universal input jacks on your iPhone? Too bad. You want removable storage in your iPad? No, that's not how Apple works.
Apple doesn't cave to consumer pressure, and rarely caves to industry pressure. You might remember Steve Jobs' famous refusal to raise prices on iTunes when the music industry demanded it.
It turns out there is one person Apple will cave for, however, and that's Taylor Swift. The mega-star singer took exception to a feature of Apple's new Apple Music streaming service.
Apple Music comes with a three-month free trial, and Apple said it wasn't going to pay artists for the use of their music while a customer was within that trial period. As you might imagine, the artists and record labels weren't happy about that.
Then Taylor Swift said she would withhold her latest album, "1989," from Apple Music. She also wrote a blog post to Apple expressing her displeasure.
To Swift's credit, she made it clear that her concern wasn't for her own bottom line, but up and coming artists:
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.
She closed out her blog post with this:
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.
Apple changed its tune (pun intended) shortly afterward. Senior Vice President Eddy Cue even telephoned Swift to personally tell her of the decision.
Apple hasn't released how much artists will be paid during the trial period, but it will probably be less than after the trial period has ended. Apple does plan to pay artists as a whole 71.5% of the subscription revenue Apple Music makes.
While reports say Swift is happy with the reversal, she's still deciding whether to let Apple use her music for streaming.
Do you think Apple made the right call in backing down? Let me know in the comments.