The Taylor Swift Economic and Cultural Phenomena

Economics Economy

            Little Rock       As a long-time listener to country music, way before it was cool.  Whoops, wait a minute, has it ever really been cool?  I don’t think so.  I hope not.  Now, it’s all so pickup by the river and Daisey dukes, that I hardly ever let the dial wander over there.   But there was a time that I could truthfully say, I knew Taylor Swift when she was a nobody, just breaking in.  Of course, that was then almost twenty years ago, and way before she crossed over to pop and has become a big star.  Frankly, after her almost 20 years of singing on the radio and doing what she does, I would have to say when there’s an article of a new song or album or whatever, I just skim over it.

On the other hand, now that she’s become an economic and cultural phenomenon, and you find her in the business section and even the sports section, attention must be paid.  This is big.  Very big.  Bigger than the Beatles in its far-reaching impact.

Case in point.  She shows up at a couple of NFL football games rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs and the audience goes wild.  More girls and women watch the games, coming to catch a glimpse of Swift, but staying with their dads for the game.  As noted,

Thanks to Taylor Swift coming to the game, NBC reported an increase of approximately 2 million more female viewers for the Chiefs-Jets game compared with the previous three weeks of “Sunday Night Football.” Viewership among teen girls aged 12-17 rose 53% from the same period, according to the network, and 1.49 million people aged 2-17 watched the game.

For football and TV, she’s bank, and didn’t open her mouth except to scream, hoot, and holler.

Another case in point.  Her ERAs tour is a record-breaking extravaganza.  She’s making big bucks for herself, no doubt about that, darned if she isn’t moving the needle in one city after another and having cities and states fawning over her to schedule a concert for the sake of their economy.  As noted,

Taylor Swift stands to make as much as $4.1 billion from the Eras Tour.  Assuming she ends up keeping the standard artist’s share of roughly 85 percent of her tour’s revenue, with average ticket prices of $456. Swift’s earnings would be the most from a single tour for any musical act to date — and more than the yearly economic output of 42 countries, including Liberia, which has more than 5 million people.  Based on estimates that Swift’s fans spent about $93 million per show — yes, on tickets, but also on merchandise, travel, hotels, food and outfits. Add all that up, and by the end of the U.S. tour, you’ve got a $5.7 billion boost to the country’s economy.

All that’s some big whooping stuff that puts her in a league of her own.  I read a long piece about a concert she did in Santa Clara.  It was hard to put down.  Swift hasn’t given an interview for four years.  She doesn’t need to do them.  She can’t buy her masters, so she puts out her own version and kicks butt.  She drops her new stuff without warning or hype, and it is guaranteed to fly off the shelves.  She literally creates her own media.  She releases a concert move the other day, and it gives movie houses and Hollywood a break during the strike.

The Times’ reporter was no more hip than I am so one of the fans had to explain that the ERAs was not about the albums and when they came out, but speaks to the ERA you are living in.  Like it not, we seem to all be living for a minute in the Taylor Swift Era.