swift decisions

6 Smart Business Decisions Taylor Swift Made This Year

Written by Deborah Sweeney

For 26-year-old Taylor Swift, 2016 was a year that could only happen in your wildest dreams. Amidst a headline-grabbing personal life, nothing broke the singer-songwriter’s stride when it came to proceeding forward with an attitude of business as usual.

Ranked at #60 on Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with an estimated net worth of $250 million, Swift also kicked off 2016 with a bang as she was reported to be “the most marketable musician in the world.”

Her music career aside, it seems Swift’s business savvy is at its strongest when it comes to establishing strategic partnerships, advocating for the rights of recording artists, and supporting causes with monetary donations. If you’re in need of a memory refresh, here’s a look back at some of Swift’s most notable business decisions in 2016.

1. Creating a trio of catchy commercial spots with Apple Music. In a series of three commercial spots with Apple Music, Swift set aside her famous persona in favor of just being a girl who loves listening to music. Let’s break down each ad in one sentence below:

Taylor vs. Treadmill: While working out, Swift gets distracted by the beat in Drake and Future’s “Jumpman” and trips, tumbling off a treadmill.Taylor’s Mic Drop: Swift channels her inner middle school fangirl by jamming to Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” as she gets ready to go out.Taylor—Dance Like No One’s Watching: A quiet night in at the Swift abode means dancing like nobody is watching to “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness.

While the one-minute long spots were successful enough on their own in terms of views and press, it was the music featured in each commercial that received the biggest boost. “Jumpman” rose 431 percent worldwide on iTunes while “The Middle” leapt forward 298 percent in sales. And a mere five days post-Apple ad “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” jumped to a 119 percent uptick in Shazam tags. As an added bonus, Drake recently nailed his own Apple Music spot singing along to—whom else?—Taylor Swift.

2. Developing her first mobile game. As reported in Variety, Swift has been working alongside game publisher Glu Mobile to develop her first mobile game. While the details are still largely under wraps (scheduled for a global release in late 2016), what we do know is committing to creating something innovative and special for Swift’s fan base has been the top priority for the publisher and pop star alike.

3. Petitioning Congress to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It’s no secret that Swift has been outspoken about the music industry’s practices. Previously, she penned an open letter to Apple Music criticizing their decision not to pay musicians when the service launched a three-month free trial period. In June, Swift petitioned in an open letter for a sensible reform to be made to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.) which oversees online copyright and provides a “safe harbor” to sites like YouTube where infringing on copyright is more likely to happen due to the user base.

Signed by 180 performers and songwriters, including U2 and Sir Paul McCartney, the letter states that while sites like YouTube had made it easy to carry virtually every recorded song ever made on smartphones, the earnings that artists’ and songwriters’ received were consistently dropping. For consumers to truly benefit, the reform requested a healthy balance between creators and companies and their interests. Published in prominent Washington, DC, publications The Hill and Politico, the letter gave the music industry an issue to rally together for and arrived just as copyright lawwas being reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee.

4. Giving back with donations. What’s your next move when you’re crowned the number one spot on Billboard’s Top Money Makers list in 2015? Give back to the community. Some of Swift’s steady financial contributions over the year included $1 million donated to Louisiana flood relief and a donation to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Swiftie fans also received unexpected gifts.Swift donated to a GoFundMe campaign for a fan that passed away in a car accident to assist with funeral arrangements, and surprised students at the University of Connecticut’s annual HuskyTHON charity dance marathon with a gift of $1,989. Her funding frequency has even changed how GoFundMe does business. GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon revealed that this kind of “Swift Effect” has since inspired even more celebrities to donate to the site.

5. Joining forces with AT&T for a partnership deal. In October, AT&T announced that Swift was signed for a partnership deal that includes exclusive performances and headlining the AT&T DirecTV Super Saturday Night concert the day before the 2017 Super Bowl.

More details of that partnership have slowly trickled out for AT&T customers who will receive exclusive content from the 1989album. And then there’s #TaylorSwiftNOW. If you think it sounds a lot like Swift’s own streaming channel, you’re right. On Taylor Swift NOW!, you’ll find 24/7 content from Swift including concerts, behind-the-scenes footage, events, and more running on AT&T’s streaming service DirecTV Now.

6. Discussing future business plans in the pages of Vogue magazine. What’s next for Swift in 2017? As she preps for a post-tour break, she shared her future plans in an interview with Vogue. Short-terms goals like getting certified in CPR hover closer to the top of her to-do list than whipping out a new album. Another potential revenue stream would be launching a clothing line. In Swift’s words, “[I] would want it to be something that was relatable and accessible and everyday.”

So, something that never goes out of style then? Gotcha.

Hatley Castle Haunting

Hatley Castle was built on Vancouver Island, off Canada’s West Coast, by the Scottish Coal Baron Robert Dunsmuir. He was a famous but controversial figure in his day, known for his swift-handed approach to decisions concerning the use of land.

The castle, which now forms part of the campus of Royal Roads University, has begun to fall prey to a series of unexplained events, which send chills down the spine of those who venture too close. Terrified observers have reported seeing a white figure drifting around the windows, and they’ve also made reference to hearing the clash of pots and pans.

It is rumored that the maid of Robert Dunsmuir—rejected by her lover—leapt from the window and died. SPIRITS, a charity dedicated to investigating the paranormal, claims that one of its staff members actually saw a female figure clothed in white slipping through the castle corridors. Unfortunately, few sources have less credibility in such cases than a charity dedicated to investigating the paranormal. Source: Listverse

East of the Sun: Part 2

Summary: Sasuke and Sakura have a pattern: they save each other, precisely when they need help the most. SasuSaku.

Rating: Mature

Part 1


She sleeps until midday, when the sun is high overhead, filling the room with golden light. Sakura wakes, yawns, and stretches. The servants have been washing her same four kimonos—all patched and frayed, except for her mother’s wedding silks. Today she wears Okaasan’s blue kimono, the only thing she owns that she feels the least bit pretty in. It fits better after a week of good meals, and she smiles as she dresses. Last night is still much on her mind, and she hopes that Sasuke is thinking of her too.

Sakura finds him in the training yard, dueling Kakashi. This time his master wins, with a swift, decisive strike to the ribs. Sasuke doubles over, clutching his left side, and gives Kakashi the foulest look she’s ever seen. (So he’s a sore loser; this is good to know.)

After his sensei leaves, Sasuke walks over to her and says, “You’re finally awake.”

“I was up late,” she says, smiling. Sakura wraps her arms around his neck. Stands on the tips of her toes to close some of the distance between their heights. She expects him to lean down and kiss her, but he doesn’t. Instead, Sasuke takes a step back, so that she’s forced to let him go.

Sakura tilts her head to the side and asks, “What’s wrong?”

“I’m fine,” he says stiffly.

“But last night—”

“Do you want to train?” he interrupts.

“No,” Sakura says. “I want to talk.”

Sasuke looks away from her. “There’s nothing to talk about.”


When Sasuke comes to bed, she turns away. He puts a careful hand on her shoulder, silently entreating her to face him, but Sakura remembers the way he brushed off her affection this morning. As if she is good enough to touch at night, but not in the light of day. Then he kisses the nape of her neck, a soft apology pressed to her sensitive skin, and she weakens. Sakura lets him turn her over, so that she’s on her back beside him. There’s just enough moonlight coming in through the windows that she can see the shape of him above her, if not his features. She reaches up and traces Sasuke’s cheek, exploring his dark-hidden beauty with her fingertips.

Slowly, softly, he presses his mouth to hers, giving her ample opportunity to refuse his advances if she wishes to. She’s still angry and more than a little hurt, but Sakura kisses him back.

I could touch you forever and never grow tired of it.

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Okay, y'all say it with me now.

“Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston are two consenting adults. They are real people, not a TV show. It does not matter if you like them together, Tom Hiddleston does not belong to you. He is dating her, you know Tom - he obviously sees something in her he really likes and vice versa. They are not fictional characters. You don’t get to pout because your ship didn’t happen. They’re human. You don’t know Tom. You don’t know Taylor. You don’t get an opinion on who they date. You don’t own Tom Hiddleston.”

Now, again. A little louder for the people in the back.

Police Cruiser Pushes Burning Truck Away From Restaurant

Police in Glenn Heights, Texas, released dashcam footage showing a vehicle burning dangerously close to a restaurant.

Glenn Heights police responded to reports of a fire near the Jack in the Box restaurant on S Beckley Road on the evening of Saturday, February 11. Officers spotted a Ford truck in flames and took the swift decision to use his cruiser to push the burning vehicle away from the restaurant. No injuries were reported. Credit: Glenn Heights PD via Storyful

Snow White & the Huntsman / The Huntsman: Winter’s War: Eric [ISTP]

OFFICIAL TYPING by Charity / The Mod

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Eric is detached and able to make swift decisions. His idea of a “plan” is a generalization that relies on improvisation in the moment; he admits that his decision to break into the castle and kill the queen maybe wasn’t his best idea. Once he realizes that he and Sara saw different things on either side of the ice wall, Eric logically figures out what happened. He’s initially reluctant to run away with her, reasoning that escaping Freya won’t be as easy as Sara thinks. It’s because of his logical precision that other characters survive goblins, swamps, and other creatures.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): He’s aware of, in tune with, and able to use his environment. Eric improvises a lot, using the surrounding terrain to gain advantages in fights. He’s a skilled Huntsman who doesn’t miss; he’s fearless in the face of danger, and doesn’t hesitate to engage his environment. Eric is an excellent fighter, but sometimes gets in over his head – he relies on Sara to save him from the goblins, and she also knocks him senseless outside the tavern.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): He concludes that Freya showed them two different things, in order to drive him and Sara apart. He argues that Sara does love him, and is faithful to him, and will never hurt or betray him, in the face of overwhelming negative evidence to the contrary. Eric trusts his gut in making decisions, and in forming conclusions about other people.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): He has a warm, approachable persona. Eric goes out of his way to comfort a fearful child, and teach her how to put on her “fight face.” He flirts with Sara openly, intending to win her over with his charm (and succeeds to some extent). He likes to joke around, tease people, and generally keep a peaceful interaction among his friends. He also isn’t afraid to admit his feelings for Sara.

Doctor Who: Amelia Pond  [ESFP]

 OFFICIAL TYPING by Charity / The Mod.

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Amy loves traveling with the Doctor, because it opens her up to a wide range of new experiences; she gets bored with an “ordinary life” (living out Rory’s dream of the “perfect life”) and tries on at least four different professions. Modeling and being a Kissagram require her physical involvement in the environment. Amy is quick to take charge and see possibilities in the environment; she sizes up people and circumstances without much hesitation, and makes swift decisions (grabbing a gun and shooting a threat to the Doctor, driving her car into the side of a house, inviting Eleven into bed, etc). She loves throwing herself into new environments, and adapts very quickly Amy’s recklessness may get her into trouble, or saves the day.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): She follows her “gut instincts,” which are usually right about people, and doesn’t stand for any nonsense. Amy focuses primarily on the people she loves most, but she doesn’t go out of her way to be verbally affectionate; she chooses to awkwardly tease instead, and is annoyed if people can’t “read” her meaning (“I’m talking about you, idiot!”). She is very emotional, and very kind, but doesn’t reveal her true feelings unless under intense stress and/or accusations that she is cold (her explanation for divorcing Rory, and how painful it was for her). She has a strong sense of independence, and doesn’t like to be controlled.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): If nothing is getting done, Amy becomes bossy. She tends to give direct orders, though sometimes she softens them with her sense of humor. If confronted with a situation that feels complicated, she reaches for the automatic, logical, factual conclusion and acts on it (pushing buttons, grabbing a sword, etc). If pressed to explain her motivations, she gives a rational argument – Rory wants kids, I can’t have them, so I’ll divorce him so he’ll find someone who can have kids. On the things she cares about most, she is unwavering in her decisions.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Her insights are often profound. She immediately figures out that River Song is the Doctor’s future wife. She tries to influence the future by inspiring Van Gough in the hope of saving him. Amy understands the true reason for the star whale allowing himself to be captured, by drawing a parallel to the Doctor. In later seasons, her negative futuristic preoccupation with a single problem (Rory’s love of children, her inability to have them) causes her marriage troubles.

One of the night’s big winners: Taylor Swift, whose shrewd decision to go nowhere near this shitshow was a reminder that actual stars do help make award galas more stellar. Because as she must have known, this was strictly Beyoncé’s night, and Beyoncé made everybody else who set foot onstage look like a sniffly child.
—  Rolling Stone (x)
Night 7

Night 1

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Warning: contains no jump scares just a little bit of PG-13 behaviour ;)

It was Halloween: the time for costumes, sweeties, scariness and drinking. The flatmates had joyously partaken in all of these activities. They’d gone out into Wellington and drunk luminous cocktails and danced with a group of giant pumpkins. Back at home, Meg had insisted upon Halloween themed karaoke which had turned out to be pretty hilarious. 

Eventually, far past witching hour, Peter had squeezed Balthazar’s hand on the sofa next to him and loudly announced that he was going to bed. Balthazar had made the swift decision that he too was very tired.

As soon as the door closed behind them, Peter tugged Balthazar towards him. “So?”

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I didn’t want say anything and I won’t say much, but I can’t shut my mouth. I did a very little photo edit, which might sums up my thoughts. You can unfollow me or send me anon hate mails, I don’t care. I don’t even care, if Tom Hiddleston in person kicks my ass. It still isn’t my business who he is dating and I’m still a huge fan, but I have my opinion, for reasons. So, well…

2

I’m decisive about big, important decisions: about my career, my album, what single’s coming next, what cover image is going to be on the album, where we’re going to tour. Things like that. What I’m not decisive about is where to go eat dinner tonight or what to order. I always let my friends choose where we’re going to go, because today I decided where I’m going to be for the next two years of my life.

First and foremost, I feel obligated to point out differences that should be obvious. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the team is mostly full of experienced characters who have worked together and they follow Captain America, a guy who’s just oozing hope and he makes you want to be a better person. When a train is speeding through a crowded area, would Quicksilver have saved civilians if Captain America hadn’t given the order? If it wasn’t for the super-soldier, would the speedster have focused on grabbing his sister, Scarlet Witch, and raced both of them to safety, only to then feel heartbreak as he realizes how many people were killed by that swift decision? With everything happening so quickly, I’d say it’s a possibility and it’s one worth thinking about. That just goes to show the influence Steve Rogers can have on even an inexperienced individual. In addition to being an experienced team led by a tactical genius with a heart of gold, it’s worth noting the Marvel team had prep time and way more resources. As a battle with Baron von Stucker sent explosives into a city, Tony Stark had the means to order robots into the city and had them warn the people to evacuate. They don’t listen to Stark’s technology, but hey, A for effort, right? In the final conflict, the Avengers had time to warn the authorities about what’s coming their way and did everything they can to help people evacuate. And then when everything did hit the fan, they still tried to save people while fighting plenty of Ultron robots. Each of them had their own task and they were often spread out. For many, the balancing act of saving people and defeating the immediate threats was fairly doable. They have experience in the field, many teammates, a whole lot of resources, and they even had time to prepare. DC’s powerful hero didn’t have any of those luxuries.

It’s a pretty common misconception that Superman destroyed most of Metropolis. While Superman does make some errors in his fights – don’t worry, I’ll address those in a bit – it’s the World Engine that’s responsible for a vast majority of the destruction in the city. Some people called Zack Snyder’s handling of those sequences “disaster porn.” All of the violent madness didn’t have me cheering or exclaiming “awesome!” It’s not there to enthrall you; it’s there to shock you. To me, it shows just how ridiculously formidable Superman’s first challenge is. How can anyone hope to overcome something so disastrous? The movie didn’t pull any punches; it showed us Zod’s forces are heartless and they had no problem slaughtering humanity. They viewed us as ants and had no hesitation whatsoever crushing us under their absurdly strong and durable feet. This wasn’t a threat that had me saying, “Yeah, Superman will obviously win and all will be well.” It’s a threat that had me thinking, “Superman needs to stop this right away because this is freaking insane and humanity has no chance stopping it on their own.”

—  Gregg Katzman, “Man of Steel vs The Avengers: Age of Ultron: Let’s talk about the destruction.”