Taylor Swift's six suggestions to save the music industry
Taylor Swift has written a column for the Wall Street Journal, and it's fascinating.
She's got ideas to save the music industry, and the thing is - they're good.
It should be required reading for any band or solo musician hoping to get their big break, and for any label who still hasn't gotten over the fact that people have mostly stopped buying CDs.
Here are Taylor's top suggestions:
Don't give stuff away for free
This goes against the current trend of giving away free tracks, or allowing users to pay what they want, or uploading tracks to streaming services. But Taylor says:
"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."
Fans will pay ... but only for 'The One'
"I'd like to point out that people are still buying albums, but now they're buying just a few of them. 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."
"The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling ... 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."
So ... get personal
"In my opinion, 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, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace."
Surprise, don't shock
"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?"
So Miley Cyrus doing cool new music is great, but Miley Cyrus wearing next to nothing and licking things on stage is not. Okay, got it!
#surpriseface - GIF: Zap2it
Don't think about genres
"These days, nothing great you hear on the radio seems to come from just one musical influence. The wild, unpredictable fun in making music today is that anything goes. Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country—and to me, that's incredible progress. 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 organisational tool."
"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. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry ... In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around."
Baby Swift. GIF: Giphy
There you have it. Now go forth and conquer the music industry.
Source: Wall Street Journal