Dear Taylor Swift, About Your Apple Music Deal…
My daughter was so excited to see that you were releasing a concert video on December 20th. She missed your concert this summer, but she has been getting into your music, and this seemed like the perfect do-over for missing 1989. We put it on the calendar: Sunday night, mother-daughter time.
And then I read an article about the video: it would be streaming exclusively on Apple Music. Meaning, if you do not have Apple Music, you cannot see it.
It’s not that we couldn’t get Apple Music; we have the right equipment. But we don’t want our hand forced in getting Apple Music.
It’s not as if you’re the first artist to offer an exclusive deal on an exclusive service. There have always been television shows created and aired on a specific station (though, if you wait long enough to watch, you can usually pick up those shows on DVD down the road). We’ve put our foot down with those shows, too.
There is too much out there vying for our attention, too many good pieces of art that ask for our eyes and ears. I long ago discovered that there is no television show, no movie, no music offered exclusively that is better than what is offered without hoops to jump through despite what the zeitgeist or magazines or award shows would like to have us believe. It’s just different.
And as is, I will never be able to consume all the great movies and television shows and music out there that is available on multiple platforms for easy viewing. Why would I ever forgo the art that the creators clearly want me to see and make it easy for me to consume and head towards a video that makes me purchase additional services and watch on a specific device?
It’s like turning down a playdate with Betty Finn to play croquet with the Heathers.
Because you know what these sorts of deals feel like? They feel like a clique. Instead of being inclusive, inviting the fan in to enjoy more time with their favourite artists, they feel like a girl talking about the great party she threw over the weekend. The one that you weren’t invited to but you’re supposed to feel badly because you missed out on something that was so. damn. cool. And… that’s really unattractive. Especially to a 41-year-old.
Artists deserve to be paid, but this is a money grab. It’s not for your fans, it’s for you.
So we reject that. And we’re buying a different movie instead. Oh, we’ll still have mother-daughter night on the 20th. It will just be with a different musician’s concert video.
And lest you feel that you are being singled out, this message goes for all of the shows offered solely on Amazon or Hulu or Netflix. I’m sure Transparent and Casual and Jessica Jones are great. But you know what is even better? Giving my hour to a show that makes it easy for me to watch.