O Today at Apple One of the coolest new features introduced by Apple to its stores during Angela Ahrendts's reign: sessions with professionals and artists from various areas (who recently gained a store bath, incidentally) are enriching and utilize Apple's products and services. Useful and natural form. Underneath this aura of collaboration and learning, however, may be hidden an inconvenient truth.
The website KQED published yesterday a report listening to some artists who have already led sessions of the Today at AppleAnd they are not at all satisfied: instead of paying the experts with cash, as in any business relationship, Ma is simply giving them some products from their own store and considering the closed account.
One of the shared stories is that of California playwright Ayodele Nzinga, who taught a few sessions of the program in the city of Oakland during the Black History Month celebrations. During the show, she received a number of artists still struggling to emerge from the thriving California cultural scene, but none of them received a ?real? payment instead, Apple simply advised them to choose from an Apple Watch Series 3, a pair from AirPods or an Apple TV to take home.
Eleven other artists, mostly from under-represented contexts and underprivileged communities, also spoke to the story and reported the same practice from Ma, always in California stores. It is not known if the ?pseudo payment? adopted in other locations.
The exposition of practice raises an important debate about our view of artists and their crafts. Of course, they are not leaving Apple empty-handed and can even sell the devices to "turn them" into real money. The point is that Apple's attitude reinforces an old (and incorrect) idea that artists "struggling for a space" should accept works with bad or "alternative" pay simply because having a space to display their art would be enough compensation.
Artists, as a reminder, are only humans who need to live in one place and eat, and I doubt a pair of AirPods will be accepted as a payment at the corner supermarket.
Even worse, the artists participating in the Today at Apple they hardly receive exposure from Ma: instead, they themselves have to resort to their social networks to publicize the sessions they will minister, as the company does not move a straw to do so. Apple's only way to send artists a bannercontaining some of your promotional images, ready to be posted on Instagram.
Artists who perform or participate in the Today at Apple complain that the engagement of the public is null, as well as the exposure of their work. A musician agent heard by the report stated that none of his customers performed at Ma's stores again, as the whole activity consisted only of "ringing out customers who were there to change their iPhones instead of an interested audience."
If you remember correctly, a similar policy hit Apple earlier this year when the company announced its first official iPhones photo contest: initially, there was no anticipated payment to the winners – the compensation would be just the exposure of their photos on the iPhone. Ma's official channels. After a strong negative reaction on social networks, however, the company decided to go back and pay the winners.
With this report, we hope, the same will happen to the artists of the Today at Apple. It's not as if Tim Cook and his class were missing money after all.