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Apple Music execs reveal months of work behind releasing Taylor Swift's new album

Taylor Swift (Source: Apple Music)

Apple Music teams were working extensively with Taylor Swift to ready her new album and its promotion long before "The Tortured Poets Department" is due to be released.

Taylor Swift was Apple Music's artist of the year for 2023, so naturally it was going to put some effort into promoting her next release on the streamer. Bringing out a new album on Apple Music is never just about pressing a button, however.

Ahead of the actual launch on April 19, 2024, the most visible part of Apple Music's work with Swift is in the clues it began dropping on the service. First, Swift worked Apple Music to curate five different playlists that are related to heartbreak.

Then every day beginning on April 13, 2024, one song in one playlist had one change made to its lyrics. The song remains untouched but as spotted by USA Today, the lyrics on Apple Music's version contained random-seeming capital letters in the middle of words.

They weren't random. The six letters hidden for only one day in one playlist's version of her "Glitch" track, spelled out the word "Hereby."

Streaming a new album effectively

At midnight on April 19, "Tortured Poets" will be released. USA Today isn't clear what timezone that midnight release is, but it does say that Apple Music teams on both coasts will be in their office making sure it all goes smoothly.

"We've done so many of these," Rachel Newman, Apple Music's global head of editorial told the publication, "and we've really built a lot of credibility and trust in the artist community."

"We always try to think really deeply about the creative approach that is relative to the concepts of the albums and what the artist is talking about and feeling in the moment," she continues. "And then it's a real collaboration with the artist's team and sometimes directly with the artist about what feels right for them."

As of the time that Apple Music hosted events honoring Taylor Swift as its artist of the year in December 2023, her "Midnights" was the largest album by a female artist in Apple Music history.