Taylor Swift posted an article in the Wall Street Journal about the state of the music industry. Some say it's filled with insights. Some are interested in picking apart her writing style. Some say she doesn't understand supply and demand.
But I think she's right. And I'm not the only one.
A few passages of note:
You see this at every kind of show today. Taylor embraces the evolution and works to make each show a little bit different. This gives Taylor the opportunity to keep things interesting and allows the audience to feel like each performance is special. Maybe even tailored to the location. Savvy bands like Pearl Jam have been releasing official bootlegs since 2000 for the exact same reason.
Who hasn't seen the photo of me with Dolly Parton? Who has seen my autograph from Carrot Top? I think I threw it away. I think that makes my point.
Is that really so bad? This actress may have been unfairly cast because of her number of Twitter followers. Sadly, life is a popularity contest and people are routinely chosen for reasons we don't understand. In this instance the reason for the decision is backed by "data" for all of us to see.
Perhaps the actress with a lot of Twitter followers does a good job engaging with her fans. That makes her a more valuable asset. I find it highly unlikely the reclusive, extremely talented Daniel Day-Lewis will ever join social media and Ashton Kutcher isn't winning any roles over him.
What do we get moving forward?
I think she's right.
But before we start lamenting the loss of what we used to have, maybe we should look at some of the opportunities we now have. Non-famous people have access to celebrities in a way they never have before. With social media, celebrities can interact when they want to (and we can impact their choices).
This is a simple wish that could be uttered by anyone.
Perhaps this is the beginning of a new era of celebritydom. One where we see people who make movies as humans. If Taylor Swift is documenting all of her activities over the 4th of July weekend, do we really need the paparazzi to stalk her?
The more she does, the more she gets to control her brand. Which allows her to increase her fanbase. Which means photos taken by the paparazzi or those looking to make a quick buck won't be as valuable -- better yet -- Taylor's community might even defend her.
Taylor is savvy at business and was smart to post her article in the WSJ - not Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Slate or any other music/culture/online publication. The affiliation with the WSJ will reach a lot of her base - or at least influencers of her base - and gives a certain amount of weight to her words. The WSJ article is another stamp of approval for someone who has largely made her career on what the general population thinks of her.
The industry is changing. We can lament change or embrace the opportunity in front of us. Because Taylor Swift has a lot of influence, her article is getting talked about. Isn't that what's important? As long as the talk leads to solutions, I'm game.