Apple Music and that Free Trial

Edit: Apparently that was too easy. Apple has caved about 24 hours later, via Twitter, and will be paying ‘indie’ artists (I suppose that means minor and no label ones) during the free trial. Ridiculous, to me, but hey. Shake it off, I suppose.

Salon recently published an article with a response from Taylor Swift about why here ‘1989’ album isn’t going to be on Apple Music (http://tinyurl.com/q28r5ag). I’ll let you read the article, but this is the response to Swift’s reasoning.

Taylor Swift performs on her 1989 World Tour at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Friday night. Source: taylorpictures.net
Taylor Swift performs on her 1989 World Tour at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Source: taylorpictures.net

First, let’s get past that quote at the end – “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

This is (forgive the pun) an Apples to oranges comparison – A device you get once – and if you got it free, it’s free forever. Three months of trial then being paid? It’s simply not the same, because after three months, you’re being paid for what was once free to that same user.

Apple is paying more per stream for the artists, does NOT have a free desktop streaming program(like Spotify, where they have to pay, and why they seem to be bleeding money), and in fact, getting a free trial will HELP indie artists get found, because people will be searching for who they and their friends like during the trial to see if they want to keep the subscription – the whole point of the free trial – and they have a portal for musicians to connect with their fans(the failure of Ping notwithstanding).

Their music is still in the iTunes store, available for purchase and download, and opting out of Apple Music doesn’t change that fact or that source of income. She can cry her way to the bank for indie artists, but at the end of the day, if you want to make money, you put your music where the people are. I guarantee you if you’re a good artist and I like your stuff, I’ll make you way more in streaming than you would get through one album purchase. I keep music on at home, at work, in my car.

The fact is this: You, as an artist(independent, unsigned, famous, whatever), are using Apple’s branding, backend, connections, user base, and popularity to get your songs out there. That use cost? No pay during trials. If that isn’t a good enough trade for you, remove your music and take your stand – but I guarantee that you’ve missed out on connections, future fans, and a bigger cut from their streams compared to others.

The greatest part is that all this is coming from someone who didn’t think $6,000,000 a year was ‘enough’ for her streaming rights from Spotify, where she banks more than that per year for advertising alone. She’s a great businesswoman, and artist(even if I can’t stand her music), she does great things for her fans and for charity, but she’s on the complete other spectrum than the artists she’s ‘backing’ with this statement.

It’s quite telling to me that she wouldn’t remove ALL of her music from Apple Music or iTunes – you wanna take a stand, miss Swift? Take a real one.

Did Jesus eat pizza? Or cake? I don’t think so. But I like to think he would have.

Rather than post a facebook status or note, I figured I’d use this site again finally. If you don’t want to read into opinions on politics, religion, rights, and whatnot, please click your Back button now and have a nice day.

Okay, question timeshirt. Can we just follow this one on the shirt? Here’s an idea for a law for you. Stop thinking that God will judge YOU for serving another one of his children whether they are gay and getting married and you’re there doing your job, or they are just in your store and want you to use your skills. Revel in the fact that you’re the one showing the love he taught about all those years, just like you’re supposed to do.

Note: I do not condone threats to a person, place, or business, nor false Yelp reviews – and all of that is happening and is uncalled for. However…putting your two cents in on an issue that you most likely would NEVER see (let’s be honest here, how many gay weddings feature pizza?) in the media right after all this started…well, you opened a door for disaster. You made a choice to make your thoughts known and in a way that hurt other people. Threats? Bad. Loss of business? Your fault. You brought that one upon yourself!

Second Note (within a note? Is this Noteception?): Your business is still not a person and cannot hold beliefs. You as a business owner serve the public sector. If you wish to not do so, charge a membership and have membership requirements. Just remember this: Jesus received sinners and ate with them (probably not pizza).

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

If you want to take the Pharisees side, own it. But do not think you are doing it ‘because that’s what Jesus would do’. He proved that over and over through his years on this Earth, did he not?

The way I see it is this: If you want to make this law like this, so be it. Do it all you want. But let’s also have a section B of this law. Let’s make it so that if you are going to participate in not allowing certain groups to patronize your business (in whatever form it is), you need to have a notice on your window or door, and on your website. And all you need to do is say who you refuse service to and why that’s the case. We did it for no shirts and no shoes…we did it for “Coloreds” and other races…you want to go back in time? Let’s go back. Because I don’t want to business with YOU if that’s the case – and if you have the right to refuse service for all this, I should have the right to know that before I even set foot inside your door. I realize that the law is referring to other things as well, but in this case, there are openings for abuse – and the governor himself said the signs wouldn’t be illegal in most cities in Indiana. Let’s just make that all statewide then, or even nationwide. I wouldn’t want your business to fail…but sometimes society must speak hard on an issue before it’s even somewhat resolved.

Okay, I’m done with this now. Please exit to the right and please follow the shirt’s words on your way out and forevermore. If you feel I have lost your friendship with this post, I don’t really have much to say about that. There were no attacks here. Just some statements, some facts laid out, and some opinions based on how I feel about those statements, facts, and quotes.

I simply don’t give a duck. Or do I?

This is the first post of the blog…I hope there to be many more from here.

          The events of the last few days have found my social media feeds to be blowing up with information, opinions, and all sorts of things. Of course, at the top of this list is Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. Phil was indefinitely suspended after making remarks in an interview with GQ that his employer, A&E, did not like. That is what is at the crux of the argument. I won’t even get into the content of what he said, because all of you reading this are smart enough to go find it if you want to read it.

          Phil’s comments, while not as exactly “vile” to me as to some (I’m not the one receiving them, so of course they aren’t), aren’t exactly friendly either. He later goes on to apologize, talking about respecting others, and other things that one should do…which is what he should have talked about in the first place. Well Phil, your employer didn’t like your comment and suspended you. Let’s tackle this one from a legal standpoint. Entertainment contracts can be terminated at any time, and that’s what they did. I’m keeping the morality out of this part of things. If you look at what happened, A&E’s actions are both legal and will stand. They didn’t like the backlash from what he said, and thought it might cause undue hardship upon the company, and so they suspended him. Contracts can supersede federal law in some cases (The NFL draft being a large one, that technically violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act). Look at it this way. His celebrity has exploded because A&E decided to have him sign a contract and become what amounts to a ‘product’ of A&E(or whatever company made the contract he signed, but I’m going to say A&E for simplicity here). A&E spent money developing the show, promoting the show, and his show developed a brand. A&E decided that his remarks went just a little too far, and thought that those remarks might damage the brand and reputation that A&E had helped to build. Therefore, A&E decided to terminate his contract. A&E is fully within their rights to do so.

          One argument that many religious people are making at the core of all of this is that Phil’s right to free speech was violated. However, that is not the case. Phil is absolutely free to speak his mind on any topic he so chooses, but he must live with the reaction to that topic. I’m not saying he’s wrong or right about the verses he quotes, but from an objective eye, the network was legally justified in what they did. Will it result in terrible backlash, loss of viewers,and loss of profits? Quite possibly. But that’s not what my post is about – there are tons of those out there already. My point is that you could look at this situation from a host of perspectives, but unless you deal specifically with laws and regulations, you’re dealing with an opinion about either his speech, the merits of his suspension, or the “attack on Christianity in America”.

          Free speech is not in any danger in this situation. Phil has not lost his speech or his ability to post any type of speech he wants. He can posts on his website, he can take more interviews, and do many other things to say what he wants to say. To say that his free speech was inhibited is a weak argument, and fails to address the bigger issue here; the issue of respect – which both sides of the internet are failing to adhere to. I am a Christian, and I may not agree with many of my friends when it comes to certain issues, even with other Christians. I am not an expert in the Bible, nor am I an expert in law, or am I in any way a perfect example of a Christian. However, I feel like many Christians are adopting an attitude of “woe is me, my beliefs are under attack or question” when it comes to these issues. Believing what you want is fine. Telling people what you believe and why you believe it is fine. However, judging people based off of what they believe or don’t believe in is not. This first part might come off as an attack towards my own religion, but it’s something that I really do see every day(luckily, I also see examples of the opposite from many of my friends). I see loads of name-calling, people telling others they are going to hell, they are wrong, etc (I’m not using the worst examples here for a reason, because they are horrible). They speak about liberals and gays and people like they are all one big group that wants to bring about some sort of blasphemous hell on Earth. News flash, Christian brethren: For one, that is not their agenda. Second, your agenda should be to spread the love of God. Your job is not to be judge, jury, or executioner(I believe that’s in a book somewhere…). What disappoints me in this most is that many of the judges, bullies, or many other people that LGBT come into contact with claim to be Christians. Suicide rates in LGBT teens is much higher than normal. Now, during the writing of this, I have stumbled upon more people tweeting their disdain for A&E and their actions, doing so with tweets such as this one from Clayton James Hughes (@ClaytonHughes7):

Some faggot got his feelings hurt and complained, so Phil can’t be on Duck Dynasty anymore because he publicly agreed with the Holy Bible!”

          Don’t get me wrong here; I know there are many insane examples of name-calling and mud-slinging by both sides, but I identify with one and not the other, obviously, since I am a straight male and Christian, so my focus is there. To sum up what I would say to the LGBT community, it would be this. Take everything you hear/read with a grain of salt, and do not jump to conclusions quickly. Do not attack the attackers. And here’s one for the both of you: If you want respect, give it! I will never respect someone who does not respect others. If your focus is on the kingdom of God, keep it there. Do not think you can be a judge and jury. That is not your calling. (Matthew 7:1-5 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”). Your calling is to love one another. I use 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 as the best example of this.Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade it’s self, it is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, ensures all things. Love never fails.”

And with that, I say welcome to the blog.

I welcome comments, but I expect things to stay civil, and if they don’t, they will be deleted.