Taylor Swift is a force to be reckoned with in the world music industry, and the Eras tour’s extraordinary success proves her cultural relevance. She is not someone you can’t ignore, whether you are a diehard Swiftie or not.
Swift is Apple Music’s Artist of the Year 2023. Anna Fleck from Statista points out, “Throughout the U.S. leg of her tour, Taylor Swift has grossed an estimated $13 million in ticket sales per night, attracting an average of 72,000 spectators per concert.
“In total, the tour covers 146 dates on five continents. As Swifties in Europe, Asia, and Latin America eagerly await the artist’s performance in their respective regions, additional dates have already been added for the United States in late 2024.”
Taylor Swift has long achieved superstardom, and one would argue that her influence goes beyond the realm of music. After all, this is the woman whose one post caused a spike in voter registration. Swift’s impact on culture and society is undeniable.
Taylor Swift is a pop country music star who debuted in 2006. Since then, she has explored genres, written scores of relatable songs, and gone on wildly successful tours.
But Swift is not just known for her soulful music. In fact, she is known to be a bit of a rebel. When she first began her musical journey, she had a fairy-princess-like charm to her. As she matured, so did her music. Her songs now explore emotions, however dark, and tell stories that many relate to.
Yet critics and her haters often tend to focus on another aspect of her music, though. Through the years, Swift has dated many a celebrity. And she has often released songs and entire albums following her breakups. These songs often talk about her feelings about her relationship and ex. In fact, people are already making memes calling her recent beau — Travis Kelce — her next album.
It is not news that women face a lot of prejudices in the music industry. One of the double standards is this entire scenario led critics to see Swift in a nefarious light, even though male rockstars doing this would make them cool. She is seen as a vixen, a siren, moving from man to man without care and getting award-winning albums out of the matter.
Taylor is famously known to let these comments roll right off her. And why should she care? Despite people’s biases, she has kept at her musical journey, and she has a Grammy to show for it. In her battle against unfairness, she has also taken on the music industry at large.
She also took her music off Spotify to protest against its minuscule payments per song. In November 2014, her songs were taken off the platform for almost three years. She did this to protest Spotify’s freemium model. In 2015, she took on Apple Music when it decided not to pay artists during the user’s three-month trial period. Apple immediately took heed and changed its policy — they would also pay the artists royalty during the trial period. Such is the impact of Taylor Swift.
But her biggest battle against the music industry started in 2019 when her former label, Big Machine Label Group, was sold to Scooter Braun. The sale also gave Braun the rights to the master recordings of her first six albums. She decided to release her own versions of the albums.
It was a risky move, and to pull it off on such a huge scale was almost impossible. Ultimately, there was never a guarantee that listeners would make the big switch to her version and abandon the original ones. But Swifties, as Taylor Swift fans are called, as always had her back. All three of these albums that have come out so far — Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version), and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) — debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
A Marketing Icon
Taylor Swift is remarkable at marketing. Despite fears that streaming would reduce album sales, her 2022 album Midnights sold over 1.14 million physical copies, , including a record 575,000 on vinyl alone. She achieved this through inspired marketing tactics, putting a premium on early streams, sudden drops, and turning her albums into collectibles.
Swift has worked on her brand since day one. Today, she has her own sound, no matter which genre she explores. With the release of Taylor’s Versions of her old albums, she made herself relevant to younger generations of listeners while also reclaiming her old music. Throughout it all, she has built an approachable image, connecting with fans personally on social media platforms, sending them gifts, and holding listening parties before releasing her albums.
This article was produced by Joy and Thrill and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Ananyaa Bhowmik is a neurodivergent and queer pop-culture journalist with the Wealth of Geeks. She has previously worked with brands like Sterling Holidays, Myntra, Bajaj, and the Loud Interactive. She is an independent scholar, cat parent, and performance poet. Her areas of research and interest focus on and around digital marketing, Canadian indigenous history, queerness in media, and pop-culture and fandom studies.