In the piece, Swift criticizes musicians who make decisions that promote piracy, file sharing and streaming.
“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,” she wrote.
“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,” she also commented.
She relates the idea of purchasing albums and appreciating artists to relationships, saying that many music listeners still buy albums and develop a bond between themselves and the creators who play music for them. By bringing a “surprise” to her music and her shows, such as guest performers, Swift hopes she can keep audiences on their toes.
The singer also weighed in on the challenges that technology has created, including the reliance of fans on their phones and online presence, but also speaks positively on the expanding abilities of artists within the field of music today. She wrote that she appreciates how great music doesn’t come from just one musical influence and genre distinction is fading.
“In this moment in music, stepping out of your comfort zone is rewarded, and sonic evolution is not only accepted…it is celebrated. The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all.”
Swift admits that she believes there will always be a fixation on musicians’ private lives, and that she hopes she can be someone to relate to for future generations: “I’ll just be sitting back and growing old, watching all of this happen or not happen, all the while trying to maintain a life rooted in this same optimism.”
The op-ed piece is part of The Wall Street Journal’s “The Future of Everything” package, which includes essays on several subjects contributed by popular cultural figures, celebrating the publication’s 125th anniversary on July 8.