Will The Circle be Unbroken #5: The ‘Nashville’/Taylor Swift Effect

The skyline of nashville shadowed in purple light
Image by Jim Nix

The circle continues to be unbroken in this week’s piece for our ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ series. For each piece our team provide a short topical piece with a link to the previous weeks piece. Following on from our Country Music Hall of Fame piece, this time around our Director of Operations (Liam Lewis) discusses the Nashville/Taylor Swift effect.

The Country music hall of fame is located on 5th Ave S in Nashville, the city often defined as the centre of the Country music industry. The city and its musical heritage spawned a 2012 soap opera TV series which chronicled the lives of fictional Country music singers and songwriters at various stages of their careers. The show proved a hit in both the US and in international territories. Particularly within the UK and western Europe.

In 2017, a study by the Country Music Association (CMA) found that the largest audience for Country music within the UK are millennials. Further to the surprise of the organisation and the UK music industry, almost 33% had begun their discovery of the genre within the 5 years prior to the study. The younger listener base was attributed largely to the success of Nashville the TV show and the popularity of artists such as Taylor Swift thus generating the phrase ‘The Nashville/Taylor Swift Effect’.

The growth of Country music in the UK continues at an exceptional pace with BPI (British Phonographic Industry) stating that the genre has seen a 19% rise between 2020 and 2021 alone. This rise has been further enhanced by platforms such as TikTok and the continued support of the genre from digital service providers (such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Youtube) with curated playlists specifically targeted at the UK market. As national radio support (from BBC Radio 2, Chris Country and Absolute Country) and the festival scene (C2C, The Long Road, Black Deer and more) continue to expand the market is likely to further its growth beyond its current levels.

Taylor Swift featured image courtesy of Eva Rinaldi

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