5 Lessons the Music Business Can Learn from Taylor Swift's 'Red Campaign
As you know, Taylor Swift’s new album, “Red,” which came out Monday, is on target to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week of release. Should it do so (it sold 500,000 copies in its first day), Swift will become the first female artist in Nielsen SoundScan’s 21-year history to have two albums sell more than a million copies in one week. Her third album, 2010’s “Speak Now,” also achieved that feat.
Swift and her label Big Machine have waged a campaign that did everything possible to ensure her success. Here’s what other artists and labels could learn from the marketing and promotion of “Red.”
1. Share with your fans... but not too much. Swift debuted a portion of a new song every Monday on “Good Morning America” for the five weeks prior to “Red’s” release and then fans could buy the song the next day on iTunes. But none of these songs were available on streaming services.
2. Sex doesn’t always sell. To Swift’s credit, she has enough clout to not make every video look like she just stepped out of a Maxim photo shoot. Though she shows plenty of leg, she is the most-clothed woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone in years, other than Adele. Usually, a woman has to be in some state of nudity or lingerie (with smartly placed hands, etc) to be on the cover. She has stayed true to her image and her own comfort level and her fans respond to that authenticity.
3.Even if you’re a superstar, you still have to put in the promo time. Swift is working it this week, appearing on “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “Letterman,” etc.. The only folks stumping harder than her this week are Obama and Romney
4. Not only did Big Machine decide not to allow streaming on Spotify and the other services upon “Red’s” release, the label only allowed iTunes to sell the album digitally the first week of release, according to Billboard. That’s because Big Machine has no control over how iTunes rivals Amazon or Google Play may price the album download and were afraid that the retailers may sell it for less than $3.49 as a loss leader. After Amazon sold Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” for 99 cents, Billboard changed its rules and will no longer count such deeply discounted album sales in their SoundScan figures for the first several weeks of an album’s release.
5. Most importantly, make an album that’s worth every cut. While I’m not in love with every song on “Red,” it is clear that every song got her total attention. There is no filler. She can easily go five singles deep here, but even the album cuts were crafted with great love and care.
2011 | Drama | RSummary: A queasy, weird tale of two guys who dream of surviving the apocalypse who are tested when they encounter something their homemade car and flamethrowers can't handle: love.Director: Evan Glodell
Cast: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman
1996 | Action | PGSummary: Amy is only 13 years old when her mother is killed. She goes to Canada to live with her father, an eccentric inventor whom she barely knows. Amy is miserable in her new life... until she discovers a nest of goose eggs that were abandoned when a local forest is torn down. The eggs hatch and Amy be...Director: Carroll Ballard
Cast: Jeff Daniels, Anna Paquin, Dana Delany, Terry Kinney
1961 | Drama | NRSummary: Paul Newman is astoundingly great as pool shark "Fast Eddie" Felson, who hustles his way into a game with Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) in the story of a gambler who risks everything to win.Director: Robert Rossen
Cast: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie
2001 | Documentary | NRSummary: Heartfelt documentary about three players on a high-school football team in a blue-collar Ohio town, which acts as a great follow-up to Friday Night Lights.Director: Kenneth A. Carlson
Cast: Dave Irwin, Ellery Moore, Joe Paterno
1939 | Adventure | NRSummary: Cary Grant leads group of airmail pilots who fly incredibly dangerous runs through perilous weather; Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth are among the onlookers who deal with the pilots’ fearless lifestyle in one of the most impeccably scripted romantic dramas ever made.Director: Howard Hawks
Cast: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth
2009 | Drama | GSummary: A drama based on the true story of a college professor's bond with the abandoned dog he takes into his home.Director: Lasse Hallström
Cast: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Jason Alexander, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2003 | Animation | GSummary: When the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood begin a honey harvest, young Piglet is excluded and told that he is too small to help. Feeling inferior, Piglet disappears and his pals Eeyore, Rabbit, Tigger, Roo and Winnie the Pooh must use Piglet's scrapbook as a map to find him. In the process they di...Director: Francis Glebas
Cast: John Fiedler, Jim Cummings, Andre Stojka, Kath Soucie
1983 | Comedy | RSummary: A snobbish investor and a wily street con-artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.Director: John Landis
Cast: Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Denholm Elliott
Let Streaming Genie help you.