Scott Borchetta claims he had no idea about Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple Music, criticizing their streaming payments structure, which would have artists bearing the financial brunt of a 3 month free trial period for users.
Borchetta said he’d been in talks with Apple leading right up to Taylor’s Father’s Day manifesto, and that she gave him no warning ahead of time. “She literally texted me and said ‘Don’t be mad’ with a link,” he explained.
The Big Machine Label group head and American Idol mentor, immediately sent Taylor’s letter to Jimmy Iovine Apple executives, and told them they still had time to “do the right thing” before the Apple Music launch. “By nine o’clock that night they agreed to literally pay from the first spin,” said Borchetta.
Here’s the mogul’s entire rundown of that day, as described at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech event on Tuesday:
“The conversation started with myself and the executives of Apple, just as a label group conversation of ‘I can’t support this. You need to pay us from the first stream.’ And those conversations were leading up to the weekend where Taylor posted the blog. She and I hadn’t spoken that week. So she literally texted me and said ‘Don’t be mad’ with a link. So, I click through and read it and responded back — she was in Europe — and said ‘you don’t know how good your timing is right now. Here’s the conversations I’m having with Jimmy, Ian at Apple.’ I was set to have a big conference call the next day on Monday, this was Sunday Father’s Day. And through me sending the blog to Jimmy and Eddy [Cue] and them getting immediate feedback, my conversations were like ‘Here’s the good news, you haven’t launched yet. You can do the right thing. And if you do the right thing, the artist community are going to look at you as the good guys.’ It’s a rare opportunity when you can do something for the greater good. So throughout the day, [we had] several conversations and by 9’clock that night they agreed to literally pay from the first spin.”
The takeaway here: Taylor’s letter wasn’t a publicity stunt cooked up between her, Borchetta and Apple as many speculated after Apple caved on their pricing so conveniently and quickly in the wake of Taylor’s missive…
…Or that’s what Borchetta wants the public to think.
Read more at Billboard Magazine