Apple is only concerned about top-tier artists, and that is a mistake, according to Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan. The comments from artists follow the recent change in policy from Apple to also pay artists for the free-trial period for consumers.
Start of a new era
“Apple is making the same mistake Tidal made,” Corgan said in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Alley.
Corgan said that he appreciates Swift’s stand, but the media will hype the incident as “Taylor versus Apple” even though that is not the real story. He added that the reality is that there are 10,000 other artists that Apple does not lend ears to their past top 12. He went on to say that it can be seized only when artists wake up.
According to Corgan, artists understand the power they have in the marketplace, and “all heck’s going to break loose.” He believes the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is wary of the negative tide that could be starting, and therefore, they want to “nip it in the bud.”
Corgan said that artists are not being paid accordingly from Apple, Spotify or anyone. He said that as and when the artists realize their power, there is going to be a rip-off fight.
After Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple on Sunday, the tech giant rushed to appease the singer while she was threatening to pull down her 1989 album if artists are not paid during the free-trial period. In her letter, Swift said three months is a long time for not receiving any compensation and would be unfair even to ask artists to forgo that amount.
Swift deserves praise for standing against Apple
Jeff Rabhan, an artist manager and chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, praised Apple’s decision and called the original plan “a slap in the face” to musicians who trust Apple’s promise. Rabhan said Apple was under the impression that it can get away with such an arrangement as it thought no one would dare stand against it. Rabhan said that for the change of policy, Swift is the one who should be given the credit.
The iPhone maker has always positioned itself as the company that extends its extensive support to musicians. Its iTunes stood as the guard to the Napster era of pirated music and assisted artists in actually selling music even in times when streaming music services were gradually overpowering and limiting artists’ income.