Marketing strategy helps Taylor Swift dominate the current music industry

During her nearly two-decade career, Taylor Swift has sold more than 200 million albums, won 12 Grammy awards and has a “huge” fortune. On June 1, Forbes revealed that the female artist had reached the top 34 on the brand’s list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, making her the world’s richest woman. The second richest self-made person in the music industry after Rihanna.

Taylor Swift’s heat became even more evident when “The Eras Tour” kicked off. Billboard predicts that after just 52 shows, she will bring in a huge revenue of up to 591 million USD. This number could help Taylor break the record of “pop queen” Madonna, becoming the female artist with the highest-grossing tour of all time. Over the years, how has Taylor Swift been able to rise from a 16-year-old country singer to a globally renowned pop culture icon?

The journey of becoming a leading icon in the Music world

The journey to success was not easy for the female singer born in West Reading, Pennsylvania. At the age of 11, Taylor Swift went to every record label in Nashville to introduce a CD containing her songs but only received rejection. She was not discouraged but diligently practiced the guitar every day and started trying to compose songs. Two years later, her self-composed songs helped her sign a contract with a record label.

The ability to compose music based on life experiences has helped Taylor Swift create intimate songs that speak to the hearts of many listeners. Taylor’s “excellent skill” in writing music was confirmed to Billboard in 2014: “I wouldn’t be able to become a singer if I wasn’t a musician.”

During her 17-year career, Taylor Swift has proven her songwriting and singing abilities with 8 record-breaking albums on the charts. According to The Hollywood Reporter , the number of albums Taylor sold in the first week of release is:

  • folklore: 846 thousand copies
  • Lover: 867 thousand copies
  • reputation: 1.24 million copies
  • 1989: 1.287 million copies
  • Red: 1.208 million copies
  • Speak Now: 1.047 million copies
  • Fearless: 592,000 thousand copies
  • Midnights: 1.9 million copies

In addition, Taylor Swift also holds the record for being the female artist with the most top 10 entries in the history of the Billboard chart.

Taylor Swift albums

In 2014, author Devin Leonard published an article in the famous Bloomberg magazine with the title: “Taylor Swift is the music industry” . At that time, she had just released the extremely successful album “1989” and broke many records. The title “pop culture” gradually followed Taylor Swift with a series of products that continuously achieved success afterward.

It can be said that “music industry” is a metaphor for Taylor Swift’s success on all fronts of the music industry. Physical music discs reap huge sales, the streaming index is always sky-high, merchandise products have strong sales, and her world tour is sold out even though she chose the biggest stadiums. still cannot meet all the needs of the audience. In 2019, Taylor Swift was honored by TIME in the list of “100 most influential people in the world” for the third time . Previously, the female singer was in the top 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 and 2015.

In the streaming era, Taylor Swift still proves her strong influence by becoming the only artist in history to have 5 albums selling over 1 million copies. She even contributed to “reviving” vinyl records, cassette tapes,… which were genres that seemed to be outdated. On the contrary, when many of Taylor Swift’s peers of the same generation gradually lost views in the era of overwhelming streaming, she still continuously achieved a series of streaming records. Most recently, the album “Midnights” brought in nearly 200 million streams.

Since her official debut in 2006, after nearly 20 years, Taylor Swift has always maintained her position despite fierce competition in the entertainment industry and is even considered an “icon”. “pop culture of the 21st century. To build a loyal fandom (fan community) that always supports every decision and album like that, it can be said that Taylor Swift has succeeded in the marketing process. body and musical products. Let’s explore the strategies the female artist has applied over the past 17 years.

Taylor Swift’s marketing strategies

1. Choose an effective marketing platform

In the entertainment field, it can be said that the audience is the buyer and the artists are the sellers of the product. According to the Wall Street Journal , Taylor Swift understands the importance of appreciating her customers, who are also her fans. She knows how to reach fans through social networking platforms, from Myspace, Tumblr to Instagram and TikTok. These platforms help her reach fans faster than traditional radio, while also bringing her music products to the public.

Taylor Swift has taken advantage of social networks to share stories about her life. Not posting many pictures of her flashy life, Taylor’s Instagram is full of photos of everyday life. Sometimes it’s pictures of cats, cakes, handmade bracelet collections, sometimes it’s scenes from concerts with fans. Browsing her social networking sites, fans seem to be able to follow her activities every day, creating a feeling of authenticity and closeness.

In addition, Taylor Swift also commented on fan posts many times. She does not present herself as a famous star but interacts with fans like a friend. Cute comments like “I’m just looking for attention here” “A shirt with a cat print. I want it so much” … has closed the distance between the female artist and her fans.

Taylor Swift’s interactions with fans

In early November 2014, she refused to put the album “1989” on Spotify, and even decided to remove all of her content from this streaming service. The singer said Spotify could hurt the record industry’s sales because of non-paying listeners (who accept using the app with ads and only have a limited number of song clicks). (determining) can still listen to the songs.

Taylor Swift interviewed with TIME magazine “I think art always needs an inherent value attached to it. Everyone complains that the record industry’s sales are going down, but no one changes the way they do things. They keep choosing to use streaming services. This is what reduces album sales.” At that time, Taylor Swift said goodbye to Spotify and cooperated exclusively with Apple Music – where users had to pay to listen to music.

It can be seen that Taylor Swift has a smart strategy in choosing media channels to promote her personal image. Through that, she not only helps her image get closer to fans but also ensures that activities and interactions on each channel will bring certain effectiveness to the Taylor Swift “brand”.

2. Invest as much as possible in the concert, helping the audience satisfy both the listening and visual aspects

“The Eras Tour” recently caused a stir throughout the online community because of Taylor’s level of investment during the shows. Vogue, The New York Times, and CNN commented that this was the most epic tour of Taylor’s career. Not only did Taylor perform 44 songs from 10 albums, but she also constantly changed her costumes and stage settings. Furthermore, she often appears in different costumes at each show. In terms of fashion, Taylor’s wardrobe during “The Eras Tour” is diverse in color, style and material.

Some of Taylor Swift’s outfits on tour

Ms. Marina Toybina – the designer for Taylor’s “Red” tours, said that the singer always works closely with the design team, participating in every step to ensure that the singer and dance troupe’s costumes look beautiful. sharing the same concept, thereby creating harmony for the stage.

Even though she performed solo and had no teammates to perform with, she still ensured that the user experience was not interrupted. One of the most “shocking” moments was when Taylor Swift jumped to the bottom of the stage and suddenly disappeared. Not long after, she appeared at the other end of the stage with a different outfit and continued performing the song “Lavender Haze”.

Taylor’s willingness to spend and invest time and effort in every detail helps the audience to be satisfied with each performance. Although the average ticket price of “The Eras Tour” in the US is about 253.6 USD, 134 USD higher than the previous “Reputation” tour, the female artist is still able to attract up to 1.1 million. participants. Pollstar ‘s data shows that Taylor’s tour is having sales of 300 million USD. According to estimates, she could earn 1.3 billion USD from this global tour.

In addition, Taylor’s tours also contribute to boosting the economy of the cities where she stops, attracting people to restaurants to enjoy special meals and drinks designed by the restaurants. based on Taylor Swift. Fans also spend a lot of money to buy outfits related to female artists, so much so that Bloomberg author Augusta Saraiva calls this phenomenon “Swiftonomics” .

3. Promote albums on multiple platforms

For nearly two decades, Taylor Swift’s image has appeared not only on magazine covers or TV screens, but also on Amazon trucks and packages. Taylor facilitated album purchases at Papa John’s pizza shop. Accordingly, the album “Red”will be sold with a Pizza priced at 14 USD. Furthermore, her fan community can also enjoy a 25% discount when entering the code RED25 online before the release date. In addition to Pizza John, during the first week of release, users can also find “Red” at other places such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Each location has different promotions such as albums. comes with a magazine of new photos of Taylor with lyrics handwritten at Walmart. As for Target, fans can buy the extended version of the album “Red Deluxe ” (6 more songs than Red) for $3 more than the original album. With this marketing method, Taylor was able to sell 2 or even more albums to the same fans.

Not only is she a talented musician, Taylor Swift also proves herself to be a marketer with extensive knowledge of advertising. Instead of following the usual format of artists: posting posts on social networks, pushing magazine covers, going on a World Tour, she has many more unique promotional activities. To promote the album “Midnight”To attract more attention, Taylor Swift’s PR team has a very methodical and meticulous communication strategy, starting with posting a lot of content in code style, stimulating fans’ curiosity. on the TikTok platform – where her young fan base is regularly active. The video series titled “Midnights mayhem with me” depicts the female singer randomly choosing a ball in a box and sequentially announcing the song titles. The videos create a habit of waiting for viewers, maintaining curiosity and love for the new album.

In addition, singer Taylor Swift also posted a Reel on the Instagram platform to reveal her album release plans. Accordingly, the notebook lists activities such as releasing a teaser video on October 20, officially releasing an album on October 21, October 25 is the day to release the MV “Midnights”,… Besides, Taylor Swift also sent put some messages to fans like ” remember to stream Midnights”, “Don’t forget to watch that MV”,…

Taylor’s messages in the album teasing video

Along with revealing each of her song titles on TikTok, Taylor Swift also partnered with Spotify to show song lyrics on billboards around the world. The unique point is that Taylor Swift and Spotify chose the midnight time frame to display ads, true to the album’s name “Midnights”. Many fans saw the billboards and shared them on social networks. In addition, Spotify also made a number of other billboards with lines like “I polish up real nice”, “I should not be left to my own devices”,… These are the lyrics of the new songs of Taylor Swift. The name of the female singer and the new album are displayed in the left corner of the billboard.

Billboards promoting the album “Midnight”

4. “Reviving” vinyl records in the streaming era

According to a March 2023 announcement from the Recording Industry Association of America, for the first time in 35 years, vinyl records and CDs are now selling better than digital downloads. number. Revenue for vinyl records in 2022 increased 17% year over year, hitting $1.2 billion.

Vinyl versions of “Midnights”

Among them, Taylor Swift is the superstar who has sold 1.695 million vinyl records in the US, more than any other artist. For every 25 vinyl albums sold, there is one Taylor Swift album. In the past, Taylor has released a variety of products, from dish towels to earrings, to promote her albums and songs. Fans absolutely loved the quality and design of these products, leading to them quickly selling out.

During the release of her latest album “Midnights “, Taylor Swift’s fans around the world were “excited” by a video on TikTok that captured the blue “moonstone” vinyl version spinning incorrectly. speed. This created a lot of curiosity among fans because they thought that when the recording was played at the fastest speed, it would create a “mysterious” voice. Since then, the question of what speed to play Midnights at has created a huge wave of discussion among Taylor Swift’s fans, especially those born and raised in Gen Z. emerged in the age of streaming, discovering for the first time the wonders of ancient vinyl records.

Besides, she revealed four separate vinyl versions of the album “Midnights”. In particular, when these versions are placed next to each other, they will form a watch. This detail excited fans, allowing Taylor to have higher album sales when fans bought all four versions.

As a result, “Midnights” is the best-selling vinyl album of 2022 in the US with 945,000 copies sold in all its versions. The album had the largest annual sales total for a vinyl album since Luminate began tracking sales in 1991. Additionally, “Midnights” also had the largest sales week for a vinyl LP single of the year. Luminate history, as it launched with 575,000 copies in its first week.

It can be said that over the years, Taylor Swifts has always known how to evaluate and predict market needs to create methodical strategies and stay ahead of trends. From “boycotting” Spotify in the 2014 – 2017 period to protest royalty rates and the “freemium” model to turning vinyl records into an accessory that represents the lifestyle of the younger and changing generation. It has many different designs and colors for limited edition to stimulate users’ purchasing ability.

5. Apply “easter eggs” – one of Marvel’s smartest tactics

“Easter eggs” are a tactic where a brand will integrate the product’s name or message, forcing users to search, analyze and share on their own. Marvel frequently uses this tactic in its superhero series. In the movie about the God of Thunder, Thor, Dr. Selvig mentions the SHIELD organization from “The Avengers”. Immediately after that, fans actively searched for this keyword on Google to discover information about it.

In Taylor’s case, she often repeats the names of old songs in the lyrics of new songs. Experts say “easter eggs” are a smart strategy because users like the feeling of accomplishment when solving a puzzle. “To find the answer, they will look for clues from the artist’s previous works, which will help increase streaming and revenue for them, continuing to promote old works with a new method.” , writes Mr. Ian Ausdal at WIUX.

For example, in the MV “Anti-Hero” on the album Midnights, she picked up the phone and hinted at the lyrics: “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t pick up the phone right now…” in the song “Look What You Made Me Do” from the album Reputation. Additionally, before releasing “Evermore,” Taylor also styled her hair in a French braid and used a tree emoji. Later, these images reflected the style of the new album. By using this tactic, Taylor has made fans curious to find the hidden meaning behind every time she appears on the red carpet or posts on social networks.

Taylor alludes to the lyrics “Look What You Made Me Do” in the song “Anti-Hero”

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