It’s no secret that Taylor Swift is one of, if not, the most successful artists in the past few decades. Yes, I said decades.
Her rabid fan base can get pretty much anything accomplished including having a shirt pulled from Abercrombie & Fitch and a public apology from the company within days because it may have been about their idol.
Taylor is the only female artist to have 2 albums in a row sell more than 1 million copies in it’s first week. She has world-wide record sales well over 50 million and digital song downloads approaching 100 million.
Her concerts sell out within minutes of going on sale and her tours are so massive, she’ll spend the better part of a year on the road bringing in over $100 million on her most recent tour.
And this is all public knowledge, things that I see as a fan.
So why does Taylor feel the need to defend the music industry against those who say it’s in decline?
The answer is simple. She hasn’t felt the pinch many other artists are feeling due to lower record sales and declining revenue.
So naturally, if a young, bright-eyed girl from Pennsylvania can make it in the “declining music industry,” then why can’t anyone else?
In her article in the Wall Street Journal, she explains that she is an “enthusiastic optimist,” just “one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying…it’s just coming alive.”
She goes on to explain that artists will pour their heart and souls into their work and because of that, their art is rare and valuable and should not be free (anyone in the entertainment industry will agree with this statement.)
Taylor then describes how fans still connect with the music they love, and are still buying albums, but just the ones they truly connect with.
“They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren’t alone in feeling so alone.”
Speaking from her own experiences, Taylor knows “All Too Well” that if a fan connects with an artist’s entire album, then they have a fan for life (a “lifer” is writing this blog post…).
She also touches on the fact that this generation of consumers have already seen her concerts before they even step foot into an arena thanks to the internet.
So she likes to keep the element of surprise alive by bringing on special guests and changing things up every so often while on stage. She also knows that fans no longer ask for the coveted autograph but instead want a selfie to show their Instagram followers for that instant gratification.
Taylor firmly believes that social media is the way of the future. She spoke about an actress friend who was up for a role in a movie against another actress and the director went with the actress with more Twitter followers.
“For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.”
Another thing that is fading is genres. Taylor is known as a crossover artist who has songs being played on the country radio stations as well as pop radio stations.
She feels that in the future, artists will simply make music based on experiences not what genre they must adhere to.
“I want to make music that reflects all of my influences, and I think that in the coming decades the idea of genres will become less of a career-defining path and more of an organizational tool.”
Taylor Swift may be only 24-years-old, but she’s already one of the most successful artists in music history and she continues to conquer unseen territory where no one else would dare to go.
And if you’re wondering if she’ll ever just sit back and let another young wide-eyed girl take center stage, the answer is yes.
“And as for me? I’ll just be sitting back and growing old, watching all of this happen or not happen, all the while trying to maintain a life rooted in this same optimism.”
Oh, and the one thing she wants more than anything else in the world, is a nice garden.
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