Published on September 29, 2023, 5:02 p.m.
by Katherine Williams.
From multi-era concerts to innovative film deals, Taylor Swift’s strategies redefine the game.
Swift’s The Eras tour is the marketing we all deserve. Swift’s innovative tour has enhanced her reputation in the music industry and celebrated her loyal fans who have been there since the beginning. It’s set to be the highest-grossing tour of all time, thanks to her team’s promotional strategies. According to an article from CNN, the tour is on track to gross $2.2 billion in the U.S. leg of the tour alone.
For this touring cycle, Swift decided to give love to all of her eras. Instead of focusing on her most recent album release, her current tour features songs from all 10 of her albums in a 3 1/2-hour show.
Female artists often feel pressure to reinvent themselves with every album release in order to stay relevant, and Taylor Swift has embraced this strategy throughout her career. Her musical journey began with country, transitioned to pop, and then ventured into indie folk music for her 2020 albums “folklore” and “evermore.” This creativity allows her to attract new listeners, while still retaining her existing fan base.
Her decision to perform songs from every era has led to a rise in streaming of her music. According to Billboard’s article about the tour in June 2023, her entire music catalog jumped 79% in streaming since pre-tour.
Unlocking the vault
In addition to her Eras Tour, Swift’s re-recordings of her old catalog have boosted her brand. Many former Swifties have returned to listening because she re-recorded old albums to give them a new sound and added “vault songs” to the records that were cut from the original release. Those of us who’s childhood consisted of dance parties to “You Belong With Me” are brought full circle into such a nostalgic place.
During her shows on the tour, Swift announced “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” and “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which has fans jumping to be there in person for announcements. She often includes hidden clues or “Easter eggs” in her music videos, which builds excitement for the next album re-release. Through these Easter eggs, Swift develops connections with her fans on a personal level, and their theories about the next song or album re-release spread across social media quickly. When fans hypothesize on social media, it attracts new fans and helps amplify the reach of Swift’s tour even further. Swifties are speculating she will announce “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” on tour soon.
The era of new movie deals
Swift’s most recent promotion strategy is her new Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert movie in partnership with AMC Theatres. According to a Puck article, her team and her parents felt discouraged when negotiating this movie with traditional film production companies, and instead brought AMC to the table. AMC will be the exhibitor and distributor of the film. This deal will give the theaters 43% of the gross sales, and 57% will be shared by AMC and the Swifts.
These showings will enhance accessibility, enabling fans who couldn’t attend the Eras Tour due to location or high pricing to watch it in theaters. Swift’s inclusivity for her fans is what makes her image so authentic and sets her apart from other artists. According to industry estimates, the movie sold more than $65 million in pre-sale tickets and is on track to have the biggest opening weekend for a concert film, with an anticipated $100 million in sales.
PR experts, take note
PR specialists can learn something here from Swift. We do not have to stay confined within our comfort zones: We can find new ways to market a brand or image, even if they’re unconventional. Swift has become the blueprint for artists owning their own work, touring multiple albums simultaneously and now creating new ways for artists to make deals for film. Let’s be creative, tell an authentic story and be inclusive of all.