Taylor Swift: From 300 to 1,165 Words

The average country song is about 300 words long. But Taylor Swift’s newest love story — in the Wall Street Journal — is 1,165 words. How did the reigning princess of country and pop music go from a three-minute song to a long-read story in the Wall Street Journal? Very, very well.

The recent article she wrote for the newspaper is business like and, yet, so Swift.

She first ponders the question about where the music industry is headed from the perspective of an “enthusiastic optimist.” Then she talks about her strong feelings on albums as economic entities.

“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.”

And she touches on her hope for the future, especially for young girls. But not just in vague be-all-you-can-be terms. She wants to see them “realize their worth and ask for it.” (Anyone in an industry where your peers will give their work away for free would probably echo Swift’s sentiment here.)

Swift also has some passionate words about the value of art — real, tangible value. The kind you can deposit in a bank.

“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,” Swift wrote. “I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”