CryptocurrencyLeadershipInvestingClimate ChangeMost Powerful Women

Why Taylor Swift is hands-down the world’s savviest pop star

February 26, 2015, 4:16 PM UTC
Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift.
Photograph by Brian Ach — Getty Images

Paparazzi can make plenty of money. The right picture of an A-List star can fetch anywhere from a few thousand dollars to well over $100,000. Now, Taylor Swift has found a way to trim their paychecks.

Swift told Lucky in a recent interview that she and her friends in the band Haim were on a boat when they realized paparazzi were using long lenses to snap photos of them in bikinis. Swift and her friends then decided to take better pictures of themselves and post them to Instagram, devaluing the paparazzi’s snaps. “Okay, so they got pictures of us in our bikinis, like, I don’t want them to make like $100,000 for stalking us,” Swift said. “So we’re like, ‘Get up on the bow of the boat. We’re taking better bikini shots, so they don’t make as much money on theirs.'”

Classic manipulation of supply and demand to affect in-market prices—and ding your competitors’ profitability. Of course, this move pales in comparison to the young star’s other financial achievements. When Swift took her songs off all-you-can-listen streaming service Spotify late last year, it rocked the music world. Swift’s decision made such an impact that Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, wrote a blog post defending his business.

Add that to her many other achievements—from being one of few acts still able to sell music to savvy co-branding deals.