On the episode this week, we talk with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot about his new solo music “The Wonderlands” and hear from Misfit NYC pastor, Chris Durso. Also, Joy does what she does best and gives advice to listeners on how to take a normal patriotic party and "crank it to 11." This episode is sponsored by Fracture and Stamps.com. Read More
By now, you know plenty about the whole Apple-Music-trial-period-Taylor-Swift-blogging saga. Details about Apple Music's reversed decision are starting to leak out: According to reports, the tech giant’s new streaming service will pay labels 0.2 cents per stream during the service’s three-month free trial. And publishers, those who control the rights for recorded music, will receive 0.047 cents per stream. As Time notes, it's still not totally clear how the differing rates will play into Apple's promise to give back 71.5 percent of its revenue to the holders of the music's rights. For comparison, Spotify—a service Swift has said she wants no part of—pays rights holders 70 percent of its total revenue ... Discuss
The superstar YouTube a capella outfit Pentatonix has created this catchy tribute to Michael Jackson. The five-minute mash-up contains bits of all of the King of Pop’s biggest singles dating back to his days in the Jackson 5 ... Discuss
Taylor Swift is officially the most powerful person in the music industry: With a single blog post, she was able to make one of the world’s most powerful companies reverse course on a major business decision. On Sunday morning, Swift—who has been vocal about her opposition to low royalty rates paid to artists by streaming services—made a post to Tumblr, announcing that she would not be releasing her new album, 1989, to Apple Music when it goes live this summer. She wrote,
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 … We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.
It looks like the impassioned open letter—written on behalf of “every artist, writer and producer in my social circles who are afraid to speak up”—worked. Hours later, Apple executive Eddy Cue tweeted "#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer's free trial period ... We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple." In response, Swift tweeted, “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.” Apple haters gonna hate, but no one crosses Taylor Swift’s friends and gets away with it.
A little later today, Cue answered questions from Billboard about Apple's decision. Asked if Swift's letter prompted the company's decision, Cue said,
We've been hearing a lot of concern from indie artists about not getting paid during the three-month trial period, which was never our intent. We never looked at it as not paying them. We had originally negotiated these deals based on paying them a higher royalty rate on an ongoing basis to compensate for this brief time. But when I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that's why we decided we will now pay artists during the trial period and we'll also keep the royalty rate at the higher rate.
Cue explained that Apple will eat the cost of the 90-day trial period: "We're certainly paying for it yes. We're all in. But we view this as: music is a part of our DNA—we talk about it a lot. We love music and we've always strived to have great relationships with the music community and we have a deep respect for what they do. We're in this for the long term." ... Discuss
Some people see an opportunity to make an impression on the world, and don’t hesitate to seize it. Seven-year-old Dylan Barraclough is one of those people. At a recent concert in the UK, Pharrell invited a bunch of kids on stage to dance during his performance of the mega-hit “Happy.” Armed with a black fedora and a repertoire of mind-blowing moves, young Dylan stole the show from one of the world’s biggest pop stars ... Discuss