How Industry Efforts — And Online Fan Armies — Helped Fight Piracy of Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ (Billboard)


The music industry has a new secret weapon when it comes to fighting piracy in the age of social media: fan armies.

When the track list for Taylor Swift’s Reputation was posted online days before the album was released, anyone trying to catch a glimpse had to be quick, since Swifties, as her fans call themselves, were campaigning vigorously to flag and report anyone who posted it.

“Fan armies care deeply about their favorite artists and actively monitor for instances of a song or album illegally posted,” a spokesperson for the RIAA told Billboard. “Our ‘report piracy’ inboxes and Twitter feed are often flooded with emails and tips. It’s not only helpful, it’s a hopeful sign about the mind-set of modern fans and their respect for artists.”