Merchant Innovation

Apple Music Gets Taylor Swift For Christmas

Right behind being known for her music, Taylor Swift has had several high-profile breakups with celebrities around the world, but when she temporarily decided not to list her most recent album on Apple Music, experts were shocked.

Imagine their surprise now that Swift and Apple Music have announced an exclusive concert partnership for Dec. 20.

Swift originally made the announcement on her personal website, telling fans that they would be able to watch a recording of her Nov. 28 show in Sydney, Australia, through the Apple Music platform. The concert will be free for subscribers and will also include backstage footage, rehearsal takes and guest appearances, though details released from both Swift and Apple do not go into the seemingly backwards decision of airing a concert on Apple Music despite not being able to buy Swift’s “1989” album on that same platform.

What’s behind this seemingly convoluted decision? Re/code reported that the optics from Swift’s side are simple: Apple ponied up an undisclosed but predictably impressive amount of dough to woo T-Swizzle, which she graciously accepted. From Apple’s perspective, the game was a slightly more desperate one. After launching Apple Music in June, users and experts alike criticized everything from the app’s design to its poor recommendations, and with other streaming music services, like Spotify, humming along without the hits to their reputations that Apple Music has suffered, signing Swift to an exclusive concert deal puts Apple back in the spotlight of streaming services.

Swift isn’t the only player that Apple and Spotify have been eyeing lately, as Adele has also restricted streaming access to her most recent album. However, if Apple can redirect that consumer desire for exclusive content through its music service, it may be able to create demand through scarcity in a digital environment — an uncertain development for music lovers but a windfall success for musicians and streaming services alike.


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