Taylor Swift shares her thoughts about today's music industry in an op-ed published in Wall Street Journal. In the piece, the singer says she's optimistic the industry will be "coming alive" despite piracy and the low sales of albums.
"There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity. I am not one of them," writes the 24-year-old entertainer, who describes herself as an "enthusiastic optimist."
"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. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently," she continues before criticizing some musicians' decision to give away their music for free.
"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," she explains.
The country/pop superstar then talks about the low sales of albums. She says that people are still into buying albums, but they tend to buy ones that "hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they aren't alone in feeling so alone."
Swift also thinks it's important for artists to form a relationship with 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. No, I did not say 'shock;' I said 'surprise,' " she says. "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?"