Once upon a time, for no discernible reason, Taylor Swift wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal about the future of music. In it, she tells the story of two lovers: the music and the fans, who live in a land far, far away, where only "arrows through the heart" (and hard work!) can bring them together. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, she managed to forget that her genius songwriting and hard work have also been met with commercial success that can easily fund the "nice garden" she'd like to tend while sitting back and growing old. Also, several houses. Here are the nine most idealized things she says about "the love story" of a future we can expect for the music industry.
• "The music industry is not dying … it's just coming alive."
• "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."
• "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."
• "[People] are buying only the ones [albums] 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."
• "[I]ndividual 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."
• "Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country -- and to me, that's incredible progress."
• "I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can't this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?"
• "I think forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise ... To continue to show fans something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me."
• "The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all."