Taylor Swift: Apple iPhones killed the celebrity autograph

“Where will the music industry be in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years?” Taylor Swift writes for The Wall Street Journal. “Before I tell you my thoughts on the matter, you should know that you’re reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying… it’s just coming alive.”

“I’d like to point out that people are still buying albums, but now they’re buying just a few of them. They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren’t alone in feeling so alone,” Swift writes. “It isn’t as easy today as it was 20 years ago to have a multiplatinum-selling album, and as artists, that should challenge and motivate us.”

“There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera,” Swift writes. “The only memento ‘kids these days’ want is a selfie.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: Cult of Mac. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. She has some surprisingly interesting observations. I know, you’re thinking, “Taylor Swift?” I did too, but check the article out. She’s actually put quality thought into how her world of entertainment, music, and celebrity is effected by the changing landscape of technology. The fact that the celebrity selfie killed the autograph is just one example.

      1. You may have a belly, a neck beard and spend a lot of time in your workshop (aka your mothers basement), but I’m doubtful anyone will be sitting on any part of you, anytime soon.

      1. Well, Taylor Swift is still alive.

        Seriously, kind of a dick move. There are hundreds of artists that have written the soundtracks to our lives who don’t belong on the list for the reasons you really mean. Personally, I’d rather not have to wait 50 to 100 years for something to listen to.

      2. Thank you for including the mischievous Rossini.

        I once had a professor who defined the ‘3 Bs’ as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz, Bartók and Bruckner.

        I’d always add in Biber. (No, not Bieber! Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber!) He’s my favorite of the early baroque composers, another mischievous fellow. Then there’s Bizet, Boridin, Buxtehude, Byrd, Bliss, Bellini…. I’ll stop now. 😉

          1. I’ve never heard a piano rendition. They were an early fave of mine as a kid devoted to classical. Recently here in the USA PBS broadcast a revived, modernized rendition of ‘Prince Igor’ by the NY Metropolitan Opera. I was (mostly) entranced to hear the entire score while being able to watch the stage production. That’s what opera is for: Seeing AND hearing! Thus the name ‘opera’.

      1. I have to agree with you, like her music or not, I have way more respect for singer/songwriters than those who just spit out auto tuned crap from songwriting mills.

  2. While I’ve never been bothered about getting an artists autograph in a little book, or on scraps of paper, I’ve got a lot of CD’s and set-lists signed by the artists, which mean a lot more to me, and, I suspect, the artists.
    You can’t sign a download, and bringing along a CD-R with tracks burned on is taking the piss.

  3. Now what is needed so selfie’s become as sought after as autographs is a highly encrypted nfc module the celebrity wears that emits a code that gets added to the picture so the selfie is self-documenting as the genuine article not a photoshop or look alike.

  4. Obvious cheap attempt to get some hits try to benefit from the apple swift search which is very popular right now. Seriously what does she know about what it was like 20 years ago. Marketers fabricated the whole thing for her.

    1. I am only in my 40’s but know more about world war 2 than most. The beauty of history is it’s history. If you want to know what’s happened the last 20 or 100 years in music anyone can research and provide a fresh take in their own thoughts. You should try it. I also recommend you RTA.

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