She made it official -- and, of course, she did it over Twitter. Taylor Swift is putting her album "1989" on Apple's streaming service.
Ahead of the launch of Apple Music next week, the 25-year-artist has made the world pay attention to her ongoing frustration with online business models for music. Most recently, she got Apple to reverse a decision within 24 hours on payment to musicians during the company's free three-month trial.
The back-and-forth that played out over social media earlier this week was a huge publicity boon for Apple and Swift, who is promoting the album on an international tour. The musician and songwriter is emerging as the strongest voice for artists' rights as the industry struggles with free online streaming businesses that they complain devalue their work. She's complained about Spotify's business model and has kept her album off that streaming service -- a decision that hasn't hurt her record sales or Spotify's user growth.
In tweets Thursday morning, Swift explained:
This is simply the first time it's felt right in my gut to stream my album. Thank you, Apple, for your change of heart.
Swift and other musicians and their labels are looking to Apple as a new rescue path out of free streaming services. Labels have privately complained Spotify -- a company that entered the U.S. in 2011 -- doesn't do enough to get people to graduate from its free tier to its $10-a-month premium program.
In Apple, a company that has access to 800 million iPhones, iPods and other iTunes customers, they hope the mainstream will begin to pay for streaming music. Free is now the habit online. And it's a hard one to break. But Swift and Apple are getting lots of attention ahead of the launch. In a tweet responding to Swift, Apple's Senior Vice President for Digital Content again responded to Swift -- this time as a partner: