My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: @TaylorSwift13 and Vinyl – Why Female Hipsters diggin’ her New Groove as Vinyl Sales Rise

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

@TaylorSwift13 and Vinyl – Why Female Hipsters diggin’ her New Groove as Vinyl Sales Rise

Streaming Music is truly the future of Music. The artiste, it seems, is pivotal to this low-cost Internet Radio model being profitable.

Taylor Swift, a well regarded American Musician, made it known to Apple that offering three (3) months of free streaming was not cool as noted in the article “Taylor Swift calls Apple Music free trial 'shocking, disappointing' in open letter”, published June 21, 2015 By Dieter Bohn, The Verge.
Her blogpost on Tumblr “To Apple, Love Taylor”, made it out plain and straight; no free Music as Musicians don't pander for free Apple iPhones.

Truth be told, nobody won that round, as Apple has to pay for ninety (90) days of “free Music” with a service that’s not much different from Spotify as reported in the article “Taylor Swift vs Apple: nobody wins”, published June 22, 2015 by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Not only are the margins similar, only differing by virtue of the fact that they intend to convert those free streamers into paying customer after a three (3) month free trial instead of a purely free option like Spotify. Good to note that Apple Music is available on both Apple iOS and Google Android as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Apple WWDC 2015 debuts OS X 10.11, Watch OS 2.0 and Apple Music”., but undoubtedly most of the paying customer will be Apple users

Taylor was right to protest Spotify back then in November 2014 and take away her 1989 album as reported in my blog article entitled “@TaylorSwift13 leaves Spotify – How Spotify’s continues to give 37.5 million users Globally Free Music who need to pay for Music Streaming”.

I just think they made a bit much of it, as the result is basically the same, with Apple footing the bill for free streaming, which they’ll probably augment with increased advertising.

Taylor Swift and Vinyl – Why Female Hipsters diggin’ her New Groove as Vinyl Sales Rise

Still, I cannot deny that her Music creates sales for whoever has her in their streaming lineup, and as of right now, that's Apple.

Spotify will survive without Taylor Swift as they’ll need an army or artiste like Jay Z’s artiste-curated Tidal Music that’s pushin’ HD Audio, the now-trend in music as reported in my blog article entitled “Jay Z's US$19.99 Tidal HiFi launched with Artiste Backing - How HD Audio Quality Music selected by Artiste will turn the Tide”.

This is not just in terms of Digital Music sales but also Physical Music i.e. CD/DVD, Blu Ray and Vinyl for which her album 1989 is the No. 1 seller for 2015 as reported in the article “Beats 1 targets hip, openminded Music fans”, published June 30, 2015 By Chris Leo Palermino, Digitaltrends

Here's a sample of the Top Selling Vinyl Records up to July 2015 according to Nielsen Billboard:

1.      34,000 for Taylor Swift's 1989
2.      32,000 for Sufjan Steven’s Carrie & Lowell
3.      26,000 for Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color
4.      23,000 for Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour
5.      23,000 for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon
6.      23,000 for Miles’ Davis Kind of Blue
7.      22,000 for Father John Misty I Love You Honeybear
8.      22,000 for Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack

Albeit not the complete list, it's enough to tell me that Taylor Swift isn't just popular with Millennials and Hipsters. Vinyl is usually a format for much older folks who love the rich, complete sound of the artiste.  

Taylor Swift's Music sounds sweet and syrupy with a strong infusion of Girl Power girl-ness in her many feminist anthems that makes most men turn tune out or get out of the room. It makes for a great mixer at a slow-dance party and a quiet sit-down with friends and might also be popular with DJ’s, albeit decidedly feminist and eclectic club mixers.

Vinyl Sales on the Rise – Blank Space Nostalgia as No Bad Blood for Physical Sales

Thus, I must conclude that her fans must mainly be female Millennial and Hipsters who are tired of the male status quo, albeit 34,000 Vinyl copies of 1989 is less than 3% of the 1.3 million copies of her 1989 album sold, both Digital and Physical Sales.

This is a stark contrast to Streaming which is up 92% from July 2014, with 135.2 billion streams as of July 2015. Meanwhile Physical Music sales have plummeted by 4% with only 116.1 million copies sold.

Still, Vinyl records along with those listed above are a part of the mysterious trend towards people purchasing Physical Music that even has Vinyl Presses in Jamaica rolling once again as noted in the article “Vinyl Records Enjoying a Resurgence in Sales”, published Sunday March 22, 2015 by Roy Black, The Jamaica Gleaner.

It began quite some time ago in 2012 and has a been on the uptick since as explained in my blog article entitled “Statista projecting Vinyl Records to breach 7 million Sold – Vinyl Record Pressing Renaissance by Hipsters for owning all things Luddite”. 

The numbers are quite small compared to the US$1 billion Streaming and the still declining Digital Music Downloads according to RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) stats for 2014 as reported my blog article entitled “@RIAA says Streaming beating CD Sales - Why HD Audio Physical Digital Music comeback progresses as Piracy is the Problem”.

Vinyl remains the sole bright spot in an otherwise declining Physical Music World. Taylor Swift’s popularity is ensuring that there is no Bad Blood between herself and Apple Music, even as nothing has really changed.

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