By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.
Taylor Swift, illustrated her amazing clout last week when she forced Apple, the world’s most valuable company with $740 billion in market cap, more than doubling that of Google, to abandon plans to withhold artist royalties for streaming music during the three-month free trial period for Apple Music.
Swift approached Apple via social media last week and stated, in an open letter to Apple, she threatened to withhold her latest album, “1989,” from the service. Taylor wrote, “I say this with love, reverence, and admiration for everything else Apple has done. Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing,”
Quick thinking Apple executive, Eddy Cue, @cue (who oversees Internet services including iTunes and Apple Music), responded with Taylor Swift that day and later posted on Twitter that the company had changed course.
That was truly “a watershed moment” and a rare victory for musicians who have seen their earnings from recorded music steadily decline in the digital age. Especially as Apple is also the largest sales, profits, and assets among the world’s biggest technology companies.
Importantly, as Taylor Swift has over 59.4 Million Twitter Followers, over 71 Million Facebook FANs and with YouTube, Instagram, etc. – Swift has more than150+ million followers or subscribers. Indeed, a huge and highly engaged community of raving fans globally.
And she is truly a ‘jaugernaut’ and thundering through the music and entertainment world and recklessly devastating ‘traditional’ Music Labels, established Industry Players like: Apple, Spotify, Pandora, etc.
Taylor Swift is a seven-time GRAMMY winner, and the youngest recipient in history of the music industry’s highest honor, the GRAMMY Award for Album of the Year. She is the only artist in history to have an album hit the 1 million first-week sales figure three times (2010’s Speak Now, 2012’s REDand 2014’s 1989).
Importantly, Taylor totally understands that each social network that she joins, she instinctively develops, plans, integrates unique ways to engage with her fans, whether on: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Taylor strategically uses social media marketing to report sentimental and emotional stories about how her fans’ lives intertwine and integrate with her own, thereby growing her social media empire, fiercely loyal fans and her expanding bank account. She gets the importance of ‘social proof’ and authenticity, and develops a fan loyalty other brands would love to have.
I often say to ‘old school’ Music and Entertainment veterans (iTunes Included), she is a social ‘prodigy” – as a 25 year old women, Taylor understands her millennial audience better than any other Music Industry veteran, because she grew up in the “sharing” culture.
In fact, many of her fans weren’t even born when “Napster’ crushed the Music Industry 20 years ago the first time, unlike today’s senior management of Labels like: Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI Group (now a part of Universal Music Group (recording) and Sony/ATV Music Publishing (publisher)) and Warner Music Group – collectively known as the “Big Four” majors.
As Taylor wrote very famously, in The Wall Street Journal in July 2014 about her thoughts on the Music Industry, Swift said: “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.”
In the United States the share of the population using the Internet will increase from 83% today to 87% by 2017. (So, I don’t see Taylor’s rapid ascension slowing down over the years to come either)
Effectively reaching the connected audience (especially digital natives) requires the ability to create highly engaging experiences. Digital video has quickly become a critical component of these experiences, and Taylor Swift gets this!
Today about half of worldwide Internet users watch video online. By 2017 almost two-thirds of them will be watching online video. Some 2.2 billion people (76% of Internet users in the United States), watch streamed video. By 2017 that number will be 85%.
In summary, Taylor Swift intuitively gets it’s the golden age of the ‘empowered’ consumer and fan (millennial audience), with the demand for digital experience increasing and becoming the norm, I am positive Taylor will continue to find new ways to develop even a bigger global tribe, sell more merchandise, generate even more BUZZ via social media, utilize even more mobile marketing, streaming and build a vast database of fans who buy more of her music, CD’s, DVD’s, Calendars, jewellery, accessories and go to her events.
Bottom-line: Taylor Swift is inevitably going to soar to ever-greater heights over the next decade and become the next ” Unstoppable Juggernaut”
XXX End Post
Feel free to get in touch with Geoff De Weaver for further information:
- Personal Website: www.geoffdeweaver.com
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoffdeweaver
- Twitter: @geoff_deweaver