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Entertainment, Music

Taylor Swift’s popularity spawns new job, ‘Taylor Swift Reporter’

RMIT University 2 mins read

Last week, USA Today posted a job ad for a ‘Taylor Swift Reporter’. An RMIT expert is available to explain why Taylor Swift is so popular, her legacy and how her fans are different.  

Topics: Taylor Swift, PR, music, fans, fandom, Eras tour, celebrity

Kate Pattison, fan studies expert and PhD candidate in music industry

Excerpt taken from the researchers’ The Conversation article, How did Taylor Swift get so popular? She never goes out of style

“Last week, USA Today posted a job ad for a ‘Taylor Swift Reporter’, seeking an experienced journalist and content creator to “capture the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift”.

“It’s not the first time Swift has been the focus of professional and academic work.

“While musicians and celebrities have been the subject of our fascinations for decades, it’s not often they receive such individualised attention.

“Swift’s loyal fandom are known for their high levels of participation and creativity. Fans have spent an extensive amount of time hand-making outfits for concerts, and discussing elaborate theories online.

“Swift has a reputation for leaving clues, known as Easter eggs, in her lyrics, music videos, social media posts and interviews. There are fan accounts dedicated to analysing these Easter eggs, studying specific number patterns and phrases to uncover hints for what Swift might do next.

“Swift and Taylor Nation, a branch of her management team, encourage these behaviours by rewarding fans for their participation.

“For the upcoming release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Swift has unveiled a series of puzzles on Google, which fans must solve together in order to reveal the names of the upcoming vault tracks.

“Swifties collectively solved the 33 million (yes, that’s million) puzzles in less than 24 hours. The games played a dual role - not only did Swift announce the vault track titles, but she’s reclaimed her Google searches in the process.

“Swift’s fandom crosses generations. She’s a quintessential millennial, and many fans have grown up with Swift over the past two decades. Some have even started to bring their children along to the concerts.

“She’s also found a younger audience on TikTok, a platform predominantly used by Gen Z. Affectionately dubbed “SwiftTok” by fans (and now Swift herself), users post videos to engage with other Swifties and participate in the community.

“Swift’s songs are often used in popular trends. She’s also closely aligned with young adult shows like The Summer I Turned Pretty, which has featured 13 of her songs throughout the show’s first two seasons.

“Right now, Swift’s popularity is at an all time high, and it could be easy to dismiss this hype as a passing trend. But if these first 17 years are anything to go by, Swift’s proven she’s in it for the long haul, and worthy of our time.”

Kate Pattison is a fan studies expert and PhD candidate in music industry at RMIT University. Her research looks at online pop music fandom, with a focus on fans of Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Delta Goodrem and BTS.


Contact details:

Interviews: Kate Pattison, 0419 529 126 or kate.pattison@rmit.edu.au 

General media enquiries: RMIT Communications, 0439 704 077 or news@rmit.edu.au 

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