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TAYLOR'S NOTE AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER

The next era of the biz is about to begin. And Taylor Swift is playing a major role.

Here’s what we know: Tay’s beautifully worded Tumblr missive to Applein which she lauded the company’s creative brilliance and its importance to her career but took issue with its decision not to pay royalties for the three-month trial period of its new Apple Music service—appeared online mere hours before Apple reversed that decision.

As the science geeks say, correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation. But Apple exec Eddy Cue claimed that La Swift’s communiqué had tipped the balance, and on Sunday tweeted out Cupertino’s capitulation. Sources say Cue phoned Tay-Tay prior to his tweet to discuss positions and ultimately the change of policy.

Apple spent much of last week buffeted by the worst possible PR. Widespread outrage over the royalty-free trial plan had brimmed over after indie labels went public with their refusal to play ball.

A key player in calling Apple on the carpet was U.K. indie firebrand Martin Mills, chief exec of Beggars Group, who is not a celebrity but probably deserves at least as much credit as Swift in pushing Apple to relent. Still, if Eddy Cue had tweeted such a message to Martin, we doubt it would even have made the next news cycle.

With the Apple Music launch a week off, this was suddenly the dominant narrative: A company that’s richer than most countries holding back royalties from indie musicians. With such an ugly tale souring public perception, it was probably inevitable that Apple would reconsider.

So Swift’s letter, with its gracious appeal to the company’s better nature, provided a perfect out. Surrendering to the will of Pop’s biggest star (on Twitter, where millions of Tay’s fans would see it first) delivers an ideal conclusion to the drama, as the prodigal company returns to the light. And the New World Order can now officially begin.

In addition to driving a stake through the controversy, Apple’s 11th-hour conversion means that it has the earnest support of Taylor Swift going into its launch—the service will not only have her catalog, along with mega-selling 1989, as part of its streaming offerings, but her blessing as well. Had they paid for that endorsement, it’s unlikely it would’ve had such impact.

Oh, and by the way, Tay’s new single, “Bad Blood,” just hit #1 at Pop radio. We’ll be streaming it.

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