“The music industry is not dying…it’s just coming alive.” That’s according to Taylor Swift, who recently published an op-ed piece about the future of music for The Wall Street Journal. In her essay, the singer points out that she’s an “optimist,” who feels good about where the industry is headed.
“In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace,” she explains. From here, she offers her opinion that music should not be given away free or illegally downloaded.
“I’d like to point out that people are still buying albums, but now they’re buying just a few of them,” she writes. “They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or or allowed them to feel like they really aren’t alone in feeling so alone.”
Ever the hopeless romantic, the 24-year-old went on to compare music to being in a relationship. “The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships,” she says. “Some music is just for fun, a passing fling (the ones they dance to at clubs and parties for a month while the song is a huge radio hit, that they will soon forget they ever danced to).” She adds, “However, some artists will be like finding “the one.” We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans.”
Continuing to express how important a strong fanbase is, Taylor explains, “In the future, artists will get record deals because they have a fan base — not the other way around.” But still, there will be some things that never change. “There will always be an increasing fixation on the private lives of musicians, especially the younger ones,” she concludes. “There continues to be a bad girl vs. good girl/clean-cut vs. sexy debate, and for as long as these labels exist, I just hope there will be contenders on both sides. Everyone needs someone to relate to. As for me? I’ll just be sitting back and growing old, watching all of this happen or not happen, all the while trying to maintain a life rooted in this same optimism. And also I’d like a nice garden.”