Taylor Swift : On Social Media and the Music Industry
Superstar singer Taylor Swift has just published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about the impact of social media on the music industry. While the idea of Swift publishing something on the conservative WSJ edit page is inherently amusing, be careful not to pre-judge (as I did). Swift’s piece is filled with intriguing insights.
For example, we didn’t realize before that the celebrity autograph is all but dead:
“I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento kids these days want is a selfie.”
Did you know that people in entertainment are getting jobs as a result of their Twitter followings:
“A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers.”
Moreover, this is likely to be the future of all big deals:
“In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.”
Indeed, the YouTube era is forcing artists to be more creative with their live performances:
“In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me.”
Swift intimates that the notion of discrete genres is dead:
“Another theme I see fading into the gray is genre distinction. These days, nothing great you hear on the radio seems to come from just one musical influence.”
And while album sales are going to be tough to come by in the future, there’s still a huge opportunity in musicians who can form a relationship with fans:
“I think forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say ‘shock’; I said ‘surprise.’ I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can’t this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?”
I submit it’s worth your time to read the whole piece. There are few people with her perspective.