Taylor Swift says music is love (surprise) and should not be free

Taylor Swift last year at the Sprint Center
Taylor Swift last year at the Sprint Center The Kansas City Star

Taylor Swift wants you to have a lasting relationship with music, and she wants you to pay for it.

The seven-time Grammy winner wrote an opinion column for The Wall Street Journal on Monday that professed optimistic hope for the sales of music albums that hit fans “like an arrow through the heart.”

“There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity,” Swift writes. “I am not one of them. 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. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.”

The numbers show the severity of the challenge.

So far in 2014, Americans purchased 593.6 million digital tracks and heard 70.3 million video and audio streams for a total of 663.9 million, Bloomberg reports. In the comparable period of 2013, the total came to 731.7 million.

In 2000, album sales peaked at 785 million. Last year, they were down to 415.3 million.

Never shy about sounding off about love and relationships, Swift compares single downloads to “a passing fling” and album sales to “finding ‘the one.’”

And when you find “the one,” she says, you should open your wallet.

“My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet … is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.”

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