Taylor Swift: Forming a bond with fans in the future will mean constantly providing them with the element of surprise.
The singer and songwriter says artists will still form deep bonds with fans, but the way they do it will change.
I’m not going to lie, I was actually expecting to be pleasantly surprised. I’m not a fan of her music, but seeing her published in the WSJ I thought maybe this was a well-researched, thought out piece by an industry insider who has exposure to the most successful sectors of it at the moment. Instead, Taylor Swift comes off as naive and pompous, completely disregarding that at least a portion of her success comes from the amount of money and resources being poured into placing her music in every outlet through which people discover music. She almost gets there when she mentions her Myspace following a decade ago, and I certainly don’t disagree with her belief on how artists need to connect with the fans in the digital age, but Taylor Swift becomes Taylor Swift through her label promotions, not simply because her music is “truer” than everything else out there. She shows no attempt to really explain the economics of the modern music industry or what will really keep it going in the future. Surprising your audience has been around since The Grateful Dead were spending 90% of their show on a jam session, The Who were smashing their instruments, Elvis was shaking his hips and much much more. If creative surprises were the single solution to the music industry The Mars Volta would have been the biggest band in the world 4 years ago.