From the suggestion that the Earth is actually hollow to accusations that Jay Z and Beyonce are the world’s most famous Illuminati members, the Internet is nothing if not great for spreading crazy conspiracy theories.
In the wake of the recent Apple/Taylor Swift confrontation over Apple Music, there’s another one to add to the list: That the whole thing was staged to promote Apple’s new streaming music service.
And based on the number of times it’s already being mentioned, a surprising number of people believe it.
Oh please. I am certain that whole Taylor Swift “open letter” was just a publicity stunt for both her and Apple. #AppleMusic
— Caleb Hamilton (@CalebH92) June 22, 2015
Taylor Swift -letter to #Apple reads like a weird ad and the quick turnaround by the company just makes me think it was a publicity stunt.
— Jouni Koskinen (@vogod) June 22, 2015
I wonder how much Apple paid Taylor Swift for this ‘admirable’ but deeply cynical publicity stunt for both parties? 6 or 7 figures? VOTE NOW
— Martin Rossiter (@MartinRossiter) June 22, 2015
~*one day there will be a Sony-style leak at Apple and we’ll all find out this Taylor Swift thing was a stunt*~
— Veronica de Souza (@HeyVeronica) June 22, 2015
Are people really that dense and can’t see that Apple and Taylor Swift just pulled a big publicity stunt?
— Rajendra Singh (@Rajendra) June 23, 2015
Congratulations to Apple & Taylor Swift on their mutually beneficial publicity stunt. The media have fallen Hook, Line & Sinker
— Nick (@Twiger) June 22, 2015
For those who have been living under a rock, the story thus far is that Taylor Swift pulled her ultra-popular “1989” album from Apple’s eagerly-anticipated Apple Music streaming service as a protest over Apple’s insistence that it not pay artists royalties for the initial three month trial.
While Swift wasn’t the first artist to voice disapproval over Apple’s apparent bilking of musicians, she was the first big name star to discuss it — which she did in an open letter to Apple’s executives over the weekend. “We don’t ask you for free iPhones,” Swift wrote. “Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” Almost immediately, Apple backed down on their decision and announced that it would, in fact, be paying artists for the three-month trial period, despite the fact that the service won’t actually be making money at this stage.
So where does the conspiracy theory enter into it?
Well, not only did Swift help publicize the fact that Apple Music will be offering said free trial (which a large number of Internet users seemed unaware of), but the end result also serves to make all parties involved look good. Swift gets to cement her image as America’s sweetheart, while Apple shows its caring side by doing what its rivals wouldn’t by admitting it was wrong and pledging to change its stance.
Is it a conspiracy? Almost certainly not, although the idea of Tim Cook and Taylor Swift standing around smoking cigars in a dark room, while laughing about the gullibility of the general public makes me — in the words of Fox Mulder — want to believe.
After all, if there was no prior relationship between Apple and the “Bad Blood” songstress, why did they name a programming language after her last year? (Insert X-Files music.)