Taylor Swift, Musician and Marketing Mastermind


Taylor Swift released “Midnights,” her tenth studio album, on October 21. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Even Spotify, arguably the most developed music streaming platform, couldn’t handle the traffic when the clock struck midnight on Oct. 21. With the release of Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album, “Midnights,” listeners across the globe scrambled to refresh their home pages, eager to stream the 13 new songs. Swift’s new album became well known by the world almost immediately, breaking records for the most streamed album and artist in a day on Spotify, and is already the top selling album of 2022

We see how much of a mastermind she really is when looking at the attention she garners across a variety of media platforms leading up to her album releases. The world seems to stop when Taylor Swift releases an album. Her unique marketing approach creates a new era each time she releases music, hiding clues within her songs and even in her social media posts, engaging fans and creating an interpersonal connection with listeners. 

As a major Swiftie myself, I used to stay up for hours researching fan theories and unpacking her social media posts, music videos and song lyrics. Now, the dark black hole that is Reddit is unnecessary for Swift’s most devoted fans; most people knew about Swift’s new album due to coverage from major news platforms including CNN, NBC and The New York Times. 

To the fans it is more than a song or an album; it is a connection they can make with Swift and an opportunity to understand the reasoning and meaning behind her work. As a result, fans begin speculating concepts for her next albums and songs months in advance, making her music releases feel like a worldwide enterprise. Swift will never give any crucial information away outright, which is why she is so closely followed by pop culture. Media sources and fans alike are dying to get an inside scoop from Swift. Followers have to uncover her messages to stay on top of her work and prepare for what she has in store. Looking at the amount of attention Swift gains both through social media and traditional media outlets, it is safe to say that her marketing skills are just as powerful as the carefully curated bridges in her songs. 

In the first months of the pandemic, Swift released music of a different nature than what is typically associated with her discography. Moving away from her typical pop songs, Swift released “Folklore” and “Evermore” without any warning, exciting fans with the surprise releases and the shift in style. Indie and folk music lovers who previously didn’t frequently stream Swift’s music may have been encouraged to start listening. 

As mentioned before, Swift is also known for entering a different era of her career with each album release. Her social media feed and red carpet outfits directly correlate to her current album. An album release from Swift is not just a collection of new songs, but a representation of a different part of her life in which fans get to feel involved. In previous eras, Swift even wiped her social media accounts clean before announcing a new album. She created profiles to match the aesthetic of her upcoming release. 

Swift’s subtle messaging and easter eggs have become a phenomenon. Through vulnerable song writing, powerful album releases and, perhaps most importantly, themed publicity content, Swift has dominated the entertainment industry for years now. Swift is undeniably one of the biggest names in the music industry, with 24 American Music Awards, 11 Grammys and 23 Billboard Music Awards.

What sets Swift apart is her ability to get attention from fans, non-frequent listeners and traditional news sources alike. Taylor Swift breaks the internet album after album all because of the unique marketing approach she has been cultivating since she was 16 years old. Swift never says anything outright and does everything with intention. Over the years, loyal fans have become obsessed with uncovering her hidden messages and drawing parallel lines between her work and life. As she continues to dominate the charts, it is clear that Swift just garners more and more attention with every move. Let’s just hope Spotify gets an update before the next album drops. 

Keagan Ostop, FCRH ’25, is a journalism major from West Hartford, C.T.