Taylor Swift wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed about music, love & her fans


Here are some photos of Taylor Swift out and about in NYC yesterday. She went to her giant mansion in Rhode Island for the holiday and brought along all of her girlfriends, plus a couple of boys (Emma Stone brought Andrew Garfield!). I feel like we’ve been oversaturated with Swifty photos and stories lately, but do you realize that it’s going to get so much worse in the coming months? Taylor has been in NYC all this time because she’s working on a new album and it will be coming out soon, probably this fall.

As a preview of coming attractions – and for further evidence that Tay-Tay is first and foremost a controlled businesswoman who understands marketing and branding at a deep level – Taylor wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The piece is all about the future of the music industry and it’s a decent (if lengthy) read – you can read the full piece here. Swifty’s argument is basically that there’s still a need/desire for big musical acts, for big music, for falling in love with new music. Not only is there still that need, Swifty says, but it can still be profitable.

In recent years, you’ve probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away, for this promotion or that exclusive deal. My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.

Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.

… However, some artists will be like finding “the one.” We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans. I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon.

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?

[From The Wall Street Journal]

She’s smart. I’ve never said she wasn’t smart… about music. About her career. I think she might be kind of dumb in love/relationships, but she’s getting better. She’s always been very, very smart about her career and how she interacts with her fans and that’s been very profitable for her. So… good for her, I guess. I’m not sure if I should be nervous or excited about her new album. We’ll see.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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28 Responses to “Taylor Swift wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed about music, love & her fans”

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  1. Abbott says:

    The whole thing reads like a high school book report. ‘Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.’ *headdesk**headdesk**headdesk*

    EDIT: It’s her dream high school commencement speech.

    • kimber says:

      I noticed that too!

    • HannahG says:

      She’s not really saying much, is she? It’s more of a collection of platitudes.

    • boredbrit says:

      Not really, she’s making a point by using short, succinct sentences as a chain to lead up to her argument: that music should be paid for. I’d much rather prefer reading something like this than the verbose, florid and convoluted sentences of someone who is dying to show off their intelligence. She made her point and she made it well.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      She does not understand the industry as a business at all! I am in total shock over her “optimism” in the face of reality.

      She wrote, “the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work”

      NO, that is NOT how music is currently valued. It doesn’t matter if you have the most amazing album that you worked so hard on…it only has value if people know it exists and want it. Taylor doesn’t understand all of the little trees falling in forests all over the world, where quality music that is made with a lot of “heart and soul”, yet NO ONE HEARS IT because they don’t have a team of professionals pulling strings to get it out there.

  2. aims says:

    Yeah she’s book smart, not street smart. She can write a song, and express herself well. She has point and she stated her case well.

    • INeedANap says:

      Eeeeh, I would hold off on that “book smart” accolade. The article was more than I would expect from other pop stars, but her lack of education — both in and out of school, because you can educate yourself outside the walls of a classroom — shows here. For someone who apparently loves books, this article is randomly put together with no deep thoughts or insights, and her writing style is very middle and high school, and didn’t really say anything new here.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      She is not very smart when it comes to the music industry. I thought more of her in that regard before I read this article. Her ignorance is showing here.

  3. Anon says:

    Is her skirt backwards?

  4. Allie says:

    People may call me a hater, but I doubt she wrote this article all on her own. She may have thought of the ideas, but I just find it hard to believe that she wrote that with no assistance.

    Also, I’m curious as to who she wrote her new album for. He hasn’t publicly dated much, so I’m wondering if all her songs will be about Harry Styles.

    • dancinnancy says:

      @ALLIE – I agree. Lena Dunham and Emma Stone also have a “way with words.”

      Hmm. Writer’s retreat?

  5. NKN says:

    Even though Tay Tay pretty much wears the same thing every day, I love her style. This outfit and the magnolia jumpsuit she wore are both from Reformation: http://thereformation.com/products/clinton-two-piece-dolly
    I’m in love with this clothing line, but, alas, my bank account can’t afford to keep shopping there. The cool thing about them is that all of their clothes are recycled from old fabrics. They’re a green company and their clothes are oh so stylish.

  6. Nan says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what image she’s trying to pull off lately. She tries to make her life seem so perfect. Oh look at all the pretty model friends I have. It’s like looking at a page from J.Crew catalogue. Her fans eat this up too. But, I just don’t get her “act.”

    • OhDear says:

      IMO, probably responding to criticism that she’s “boy-crazy” and moving to a more adult image. Kind of a “see, I can be single for extended periods of time! And I have female friends – I don’t just think of other women as dating competition!”

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        Her adult image is wearing doll-like clothes and make-up and having play-dates with random girls. I have never understood a celebrity less.

  7. InvaderTak says:

    Well that could have been worse. I don’t think she wrote it all herself either; there’s just no way she knows all of the ins and outs of the industry. She was too young when she startedto have done all of it on her own, and now shes too big to do it on her own. She is probably repeating a lot of what her strategy team says. It also seems like her primary motive is profit. I can name a ton of broke artists that have rare abilities that give it away basically for free because they Love what they do. I’m not saying onlys starving artists can make true art, or that art for profit is bad. She just seems to be saying ‘if you do something be sure you’re paid for it’

  8. Jay says:

    Since when is music rare?… It’s reasonable for artists to expect fans to pay for music, but I refuse to pay $1.29 per song, and I refuse to pay for an album that consists of a bunch of crappy filler songs, as many do nowadays.

    These artists do just fine for themselves with concert sales and all the endorsements. Plus now they’re on magazine covers stealing the jobs of models. Soooo cry me a river over fans pirating a song or 2 from you, Taylor.

    • TheOneandOnlyOnly says:

      Yes, to everything and ineedanapp’s comments, including stealing covers from models; that’s why the fashion mags were so much better in the 80s and 90s – real models, great photographers, fun styling, and that’s an endless complaint in the blogs and on youtube: and like many I doubt she wrote this – she neither has book smarts or street smarts – listen carefully how she talks in an unscripted – sort of – interview. She is a contrived over marketed pop star, generic as all get out, and that’s it. The accolades heaped on her are out of proportion to her actual talent.
      ANd what about the concept of music just being damn good – as in jimmy page remastering zeps first three albums and all making billboards top ten in sales for that week this june – with virtually no marketing of the tay tay kind.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Concert sales are GREAT for artists who have a huge following like Taylor. It is VERY expensive to do, though, so for smaller artists touring actually costs them money. A lot of money.

  9. Dara says:

    This outfit contradicts those saying she is doing anything more than cardio at that gym she frequents. She has a lovely slim figure, but there is very little muscle tone.

  10. Hanna says:

    If you read the whole article, the theme is about how some big artists who connect with their fans will make it and the others… well too bad. She thinks the music industry isn’t dying, it’s shrinking, but that’s life and she’s doing fine, thanks. So according to Taylor Swift, nothing is seriously wrong, the music industry will be ok. One interesting point is her line about how artists with fans will get record deals, not the other way around. That sounds like giving away your music for free, until you’re big enough to charge for it. Other than that, there’s no real advice here, just how she’s doing great while most of the industry is unhealthy and she’s totally good with that.

  11. Triple Cardinal says:

    I believe she wrote this herself; she’s struck me in the past as articulate enough to pull this off on her own. And she makes what I think are some unpleasant predictions: all music ultimately will be a product of musical fusion. A musician’s popularity and success will not be determined by the quality of the work, but rather by the size of the fan (read: Twitter) following. I really don’t care to see this come to pass.

    But the article itself is fine for what was requested of her. I’m not expecting her philosophy on the soul in flight. She’s writing of the connection between fans and musicians and how that affects the “price point.” And who knows? Possibly the WSJ told her to keep it simple and to the point.

  12. Ice Queen says:

    She made her point but I expected a more sophisticated writing… Oh well…

  13. Mei says:

    Heard Ed Sheeran talking about this topic on the radio earlier today, he was basically saying that the reason people should pay for albums and music is because it doesn’t all go to the artist – it also goes back to the record company who then can finance new emerging artists and the like. Which is a very good point and I’m sure many people wouldn’t have thought about it like that.
    Really hope they do another song together, song writing is their strength and I think they make a good team!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Yeah, the record companies take a LOT of money….some of which they aren’t intitled to.
      This is a VERY interesting article about James Taylor. He was underpaid $1,692,726 by Warner Bros., and they ended up paying him only $97,857 of that amount (in addition to a whole LOT of other trickery and theft.) The record companies collect the money for the music sold, they just don’t pass all of what is owed on to the artists.

      52 Ways to Screw an Artist, by Warner Bros. http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2012/09/19/jamestaylor

    • melain says:

      Uh huh. Sounds like their labels have been giving lots of koolaid to Taylor and Ed. It’s what big business always says: give us more money and we’ll trickle it down. Yeah right.

  14. CG says:

    I’m late to the party but Emma Stone is actually filming a Woody Allen movie in Newport right now. I was there for the weekend and last night part of Broadway was blocked off for taping. Andrew Garfield has been spotted around too. So those two were already in Rhode Island, they didn’t just go for some holiday play-date at Swifty’s beach pad!

  15. Kayl says:

    She really is so, so pretty, and very classy in a fresh, young, hip way.