Taylor Swift is sometimes better known for her romantic relationships than her singing career, but the singer and sometimes actress knows how to build her brand. Worth an estimated $18 million in 2008, but she increased her net worth to nearly $70 million by 2014. While most of her money comes from her singing and record deals, she knows that diversity is the key to personal success. In addition to working as a clothing designer and releasing her own perfume, she also found success as a spokesperson. Swift most recently announced plans to diversify even further with her own smartphone app.
American Express Unstaged Taylor Swift Blank Space Experience App
Though it might have a long name, the American Express Unstaged Taylor Swift Blank Space Experience App became an instant hit with her fans. The film follows the story that she revealed in her "Blank Space" music video. That video showcased the singer lounging and running around a large mansion. The new app lets users download the simple game and gain access to that same mansion. As they run around in the free app, they can hidden objects in each room.
Earning Money on a Free App
Many of the top apps today charge a small fee for downloading. Users pay anywhere from $.99 to $9.99 or more to download the app and play or use it. Other apps offer the initial download for free and then charge money in the game to make money. Some free apps also run annoying advertisements that take players out of the game. Swift found a new way to make money with her app. American Express paid her a set amount of money to add her name to the app, and the company receives free advertising every time someone downloads and plays the game.
Outside of the Recording Studio
Outside of the recording studio, Swift works hard to diversify her brand and show that she's more than just another singer. She now lends her name to two different perfumes released by the Elizabeth Arden brand and serves as a model for Cover Girl. Swift also worked out a deal with Target that let the retail chain carry an exclusive version of one of her albums. Some of the companies she served as a spokesperson for include Keds, Sony, Walgreens and Papa John's Pizza.
In the Public
Technology expert Ehsan Bayat wasn't a big fan of Swift's new app, but he did find that the app would appeal to fans of the singer. Bayat also believes that this app will give Swift a taste of what she could do with more time and a better design team beside her. The singer has a legion of devoted fans who come to her concerts, buy her CDs and download her music, and those fans will buy products that she endorses and puts her name on the packaging.
The American Express Unstaged Taylor Swift Blank Space Experience App is the first app that the singer lent her name to, but given the reaction of her fans, it won't be her last. It was one of the top downloads on its release day and continued picking up fans in the following days. Swift may eventually find herself joining the ranks of celebrities making big income off smartphone apps.