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Has Taylor Swift Forever Changed How Musicians Will Promote Singles?

todayAugust 2, 2023 2

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For those who haven’t noticed, Taylor Swift is currently promoting two singles simultaneously. One of them, “Karma,” is from her latest album of original material, Midnights, while the other, “Cruel Summer,” was first made available years ago on her set Lover. It’s rare to see any artist pushing a pair of cuts at the same time, but Swift’s move isn’t just uncommon, it may set a precedent that changes how the music industry works.

Swift’s unique approach of promoting two hits at once challenges the conventional thinking in the music industry. For decades, the norm dictated that artists should release one single at a time and focus all their promotion efforts on its success.

Her current strategy of promoting two tracks at one time goes against the idea that the public needs to focus on a single track for it to succeed. The belief has been for years that promoting multiple tracks to the same people simultaneously could lead to diluted messaging and reduce the chances of a song’s success, as fans and the powers that be split their focus, hurting both tunes in the process.

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Her success with both “Karma” and “Cruel Summer” suggests that this traditional approach may no longer be the only viable option.

The two songs shared space with one another inside the top 10 on the Hot 100 for several weeks recently. They also almost replaced one another atop Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart, hitting No. 1 on the competitive tally just weeks apart. Scoring a pair of simultaneous top 10s on the Hot 100 is one thing, but securing two radio wins so close to one another really is rare to see.

It must be noted that “Karma” and “Cruel Summer” are not just two singles; they come from different albums, eras and have distinct sounds. This diversity in her promo plan music accomplishes different goals, and it could be one of the reasons why her move worked. Swift’s immense star power surely also played a role in her ability to pull off such a feat successfully.

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Artists have charted simultaneous hits in the past, but few, if any, have done so in this manner. Some have released more than one track to different segments of the radio audience, or perhaps for one to follow up another and replace it, keeping a winning streak going. Others have charted wins as a featured act on someone else’s tune and then as a star of their own production. Swift did none of these things. “Karma” and “Cruel Summer” were in competition with one another on the same charts, and they both managed to succeed.

Considering Swift’s accomplishments, the music industry may witness a change in the way singles are promoted. More major artists could adopt the approach of releasing several singles simultaneously, all aimed at the same crowd at the same time. Instead of promoting different cuts in various periods or to different groups of fans (or potential fans), artists and their teams may choose to release a significant amount of music at once, considering all of it as proper singles.

This shift may be due in part to the changes in how people consume music. They no longer need radio programmers to create a hit, as radio can now sometimes follow what’s happening on TikTok and on streaming platforms like Spotify. Perhaps when a star is hot, they can count any number of smashes at one time. Or, maybe, this is the kind of thing that only Swift can get away with.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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