Taylor Swift continues to impress me as someone who combines both class and business savvy. She’s not someone who falls off the deep end with over-the-top sexuality as Madonna, Britney Spears, or Miley Cyrus. They all started marketing to the tweens and then tried to stay in the limelight by reinventing themselves by going more over-the-top and outrageous.
Taylor has taken a different approach to stay relevant. And her marketing methods and the integrity that goes with that is incredible to see in someone still early in her career.
Currently there are a couple of things bumping around the music world about the intellectual property side of things.
The first is that Taylor is opting out of Apple’s new streaming service (Apple Music).
Now Apple takes a solid approach to launching a new service. Three months free trial. That is nothing new in marketing. However, the wrinkle is they’re not going to pay the artists during the free trial. And that is what Taylor is addressing.
Taylor isn’t doing this for her business (she makes her money from live shows and other licensing avenues). But for the up and coming artist, and the other artists without a solid platform to address it, she’s taking on the giant with her slingshot.
Now could Apple still pay the artists? If they looked at the lifetime value of a customer and saw that they could recoup artist licensing costs quickly, it would still make sense from a business perspective. They could also announce their 3 month free trial AND also say they’re going to pay the licensing fees to the artists GRATIS (on the purchaser’s behalf). It would be like a furniture store paying the sales tax.
That would be great marketing and taking a leadership role in the music industry rather than being a company the artists are railing against (publicly or privately).
And Taylor makes that case in her letter to Apple.
Will they make that change and pay the artists? Who knows. Will the New Apple, in the post-Steve-Jobs era step up to the challenge and continue to be an innovator? Or will they go in the direction of Microsoft and be roadblocks to innovation and enlightenment?
Okay, now here’s the other story.
Taylor Swift is now trademarking song phrases. She had trademarked her name for many situations but now she’s trademarking phrases like:
- “Party Like It’s 1989”
- “This Sick Beat”
- “Cause We Never Go Out Of Style”
- “Could Show You Incredible Things”
- “Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?”
Now there has been controversy about whether she can trademark these things, particularly something like the “Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?” phrase since it seems like a normal greeting. Check out the article below that walks through the issues and how they believe she’s able to get the trademark.
The thing I like about these stories is it shows the incredible creativity that Taylor brings to the music industry. And also an understanding of how to get the most out of your talent and celebrity status…to the her benefit and those of her fans and industry.
What could you be doing to advance your business’ causes and increasing your impact on your customers’ lives? Are you doing everything you can?