Taylor Swift Enterprising Artistry Shows Through in Eras Tour Concert Film

Swifts Eras Concerts Earn Her a Place as a Top Entrepreneur of 2023

My vote for entrepreneur of 2023? Taylor Swift. No more proof is needed than her concert film, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (released October 13, 2023).

The concert tour itself is an extraordinary testimony to entrepreneurial talent. She has been able to monetize her value as an artist at unprecedented levels, as a recording artist and a performer. Swift has also leveraged her status and wealth in the industry to reclaim her art after bruising legal battles. The fruit of her perseverance is blatantly evident in a concert tour that has already surpassed $1 billion in gross revenues.

Eras Tour Represents Bold Recasting of Swift’s Music

The tour is more than entertainment. It represents a bold recasting of her artistry in the wake of her struggles against the conventional music industry. With common sense, clever lawyers, and boldness, Switch circumvented the traditional studio recording deals by re-recording her own songs as an older, more mature artist.

The result, in part, is the “Eras Tour” concert, which showcases new interpretations of music from 10 earlier albums. The tour is scheduled for over 150 tours across five continents and is so popular that they sell out in minutes. Demand has sent prices for gray market tickets sky high toward $1,000 per ticket. In some cases, tickets in the US went for $1,500.

Those prices could easily be chalked up to “herd behavior” or successful marketing hype.

The first few minutes of watching The Eras Tour movie might shift some thinking on this take, even for those who are not enamored by her music.

Demand for Tickets More than Herd Behavior

The opening scene of Taylor Swift’s concert movie sets the stage for what’s to come—an extravagant, high-energy, world-class production sampling three decades of songwriting prowess from perhaps the world’s most influential entertainer.

While movie viewers will not see the entire 44-song concert set list, they will experience enough to feel the force and dynamism of the performer. Moreover, the songs from the “eras” flow seamlessly, knitting together a personal story as well as one as an artist. While the “Swifties” know them all, the show will keep popular music enthusiasts of all kinds engaged.

The Eras Tour movie is not the most innovative documentary. But the musical numbers are remarkably well edited to entertain viewers, from grandiose choreographed numbers that fill the entire stage in moving 3D pieces to sincere and personal moments with a crowd. The fact her fans know the songs helps elevate the excitement and, ironically, Swift’s humility as an artist.

Filmed during the last three concert dates in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, the size of the stadium venue to fully deploy her entire team of choreographers, dancers, set builders, sound and light technicians, and others to utilize a vast multidimensional stage.

The movie’s cinematography does a commendable job of capturing what may be history’s most technologically advanced, dynamic, and sophisticated concert set(s). The movie conveys the stunning scope of her team’s investment in technology, artistry, and audience engagement.

Scope of Production Allows for Personal Moments

The scope of the production also allows Swift to create more intimate moments with individuals, small groups, larger subsections of the audience, as well as all 70,000 in the audience.

Based on the choreography and the intentional progression of the songs from different albums (eras), Swift manages to connect to her fans in a genuine, personal, and appreciative way. She cares for them and knows who put her on this stage.

A Concert Movie Born of Entrepreneurial Initiative

Notably, the documentary was born of entrepreneurial initiative. The movie was conceived once the tour had started. Swift scrambled to find a director and team to film the last few domestic concerts.

Swift and her team then broke down production and distribution conventions to expedite getting the film into theaters. They created an exclusive and direct distribution arrangement with AMC Theaters. They also negotiated directly with the actors’ and artists’ unions to ensure film production could take place during the strike.

The quickness with which she worked and the expectations about box office returns changed the release dates of several major feature films.

The result? A documentary film that generated $250 million and counting at the box office on a production budget of somewhere south of $20 million.

The Eras Tour is a Well Executed and Produced Documentary

Overall, The Eras Tour movie is a well-executed and produced chronicle of an important moment in the life of one of the most consequential entertainers and music industry entrepreneurs of the 21st century.

The movie is entertaining, and it provides a glimpse into the value Taylor Swift creates with her music. One can see why her fans will pay north of $1,000 for a ticket. Even at those prices, few likely left the Eras Tour concert with buyer’s remorse.

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D., is director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center, a market-oriented think tank in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University in Tallahassee and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.
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