Originally Published: 2018
Category: Culture & Consumer Behaviour
New models of distribution are disrupting the usual channels, cutting out middlemen and building more direct connections with fans and buyers.
My inside knowledge of Taylor Swift’s apartment comes from a tweet shared by an adoring fan who was among the chosen few Swifties (Taylor Swift’s biggest fans) invited back to her NYC apartment for a pizza party after the live online launch show for her new song.
While Instagram and Twitter were flooded that night with shares and re-shares of images from that pizza party, journalists and music industry analysts were hard at work trying to figure out what this all meant for the future of the industry itself. Complicating matters was a string of disruptive releases by well-known artists distributed directly to their fans.
About six months earlier, Beyoncé famously delivered the release of an entire album without any advance promotion in a single night, including videos for each song. In an interview after the launch, she
described her motivation behind releasing the entire album simultaneously by saying, “That vision in my brain is what I wanted people to experience.”
Taylor’s move to connect with her fans through cutting out the middleman lies at the heart of Distributive Disruption today: brands no longer need to depend on traditional distribution models to connect with loyal customers and fans. In fact, technology has empowered both brands and customers to connect more directly and authentically.
This trend was published in the 2018 edition of our Non-Obvious trend research and therefore automatically receives an ‘A’ grade. The continuing relevance of these trends is assessed annually and rated based on a combination of reviews feedback from readers, clients, colleagues and our own observations.