taylor swift public relations

There was a time when both Garth Brooks and Bono had been tagged as saviors of the music industry. And while both the Great Entertainer and the Biggest Band in the World have done things to shake up How Things Are, the real world breaker turned out to be Taylor Swift.

The waif-like pop-country princess has brought mighty Apple to its knees…or at least forced them to compromise, which, in the grand scheme of things is just about one and the same.

In a world where digital content sellers pretty much own the artists whose music they sell, Garth chose to start his own competitive property, U2 gave their latest album away and Swift has emerged as the biggest threat to that oligarchy. She has built an empire of fans who move on her command, whether it’s teasing a new album or talking shop about the industry on her social media. Most recently, Swift criticized Apple for not compensating artists for consumer sampling of their streaming music service.

Almost immediately, Apple changed its policy. Read that again. Apple Changed Its Policy. Now artists will be compensated for all three-month trials of the streaming service. One might be tempted to argue that Apple had planned to do so all along … except that Eddy Cue, one of Apple’s senior execs, reportedly called Swift to deliver the news personally.

The debate, of course, is nothing new. Countless individual artists and smaller labels had been griping about the proposed policy since it was announced. Apple claims it had been considering these complaints though it had not responded to any of them and looked for all the world to be ignoring them intensely. Then Swift tapped away on Tumblr, and the music industry tilted.

Of course, in the same week all this happened, Amazon promised to further restrict pay for self-published authors. One wonders if Stephen King or JK Rowling will step into the ring on their behalf.