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Taylor Swift Writes Op-Ed on the Music Industry: “Music Should Not Be Free”

Taylor Swift
Pacific Coast News

Taylor Swift put her decade-long experience in the music business to good use, writing a piece on the future of music and where she sees the industry heading.

The 24-year-old singer probably knows a thing or two about the business side of selling music, after all. Apparently she has developed quite a few opinions about it over the years. She turned to the Wall Street Journal to share those thoughts, which cover a variety of topics, from album sales to fan-artist interactions. Read on to find out the wise advice and knowledge T. Swift dropped on us.

On the value of music: “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.”

On album sales: “In mentioning album sales, 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. It isn’t as easy today as it was 20 years ago to have a multiplatinum-selling album, and as artists, that should challenge and motivate us.”

On the power of fans: “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. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans — not the other way around.”

On being a celebrity: “I predict that some things will never change. There will always be an increasing fixation on the private lives of musicians, especially the younger ones. Artists who were at their commercial peak in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s tell me, “It was never this crazy for us back then!” And I suspect I’ll be saying that same thing to younger artists someday (God help them). There continues to be a bad girl vs. good girl/clean-cut vs. sexy debate, and for as long as those labels exist, I just hope there will be contenders on both sides. Everyone needs someone to relate to.”

To read Taylor’s full op-ed, check out her article here.

Next: The Best Taylor Swift Breakup Songs

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