Even if you’re not Taylor Swift’s biggest fan, it’s impossible to deny the fact she has completely dominated the culture over the last few weeks – and at a time when the monoculture is dying, these takeovers don’t happen all that often. What’s also extraordinary, especially for those of us who study celebrity, is how she seems to be completely in control of it. Because even on the rare occasions when a star becomes such a huge part of the conversation, or the entire conversation, it’s not necessarily to their benefit. But in the fall of 2023, Taylor hasn’t just been owning the whole spotlight, she’s bending all the light to her advantage. 


The Eras Tour movie is a smash hit. And the release of the concert film preceded the release of her rerecorded album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version), which dropped last night, resulting in heavy streams and songs that are nine years old soaring up the charts, where they will likely remain for the next few weeks. And by her standards, she’s barely had to promote it… because everyone else has been doing it for her. 

For weeks now the National Football League has been giving her free publicity, and that continued last night at a game nowhere near her vicinity. Take a look at what happened on the field last night during the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers game: 


They named a play after her. And it was broadcast on Thursday Night Football. And the Bills WON! Lol forever, like even she couldn’t even have scripted that. But, again, and I can’t say this enough, she has made the NFL her bitch. 

But that’s not the only sport trying to get a piece of Taylor. Look what the Mercedes F1 team just posted this morning: 


So Taylor’s getting freebies from motor racing now – their clout chasing is more money in her bank. 

And speaking of bank…

One of the biggest headlines about Taylor that hit the algorithm yesterday, just as anticipation for the release of 1989 (TV) was reaching fever pitch online, was Bloomberg’s declaration that she is now a billionaire. Bloomberg chose this moment to release their research, capitalising, of course, on Taylor’s hype right now. But then again, I can’t imagine Bloomberg wouldn’t have given the Taylor Swift Corporation the heads up about this story – it’s industry practice – and that, too, is another bonus on her side, because here’s another media outlet confirming her economic impact and her cultural power. And it’s important to note, as Bloomberg points out, that Taylor’s billionaire status has been achieved primarily through her music. Through sales and streams of her music, the value of her catalogue, and what she brings in from touring. 


Because Taylor doesn’t have product lines. Taylor sells album and tour merchandise but, still, that’s all directly related to music. Very few celebrities these days, if any, can make that much money exclusively from music, given how the industry has changed and profits are dwindling. So that’s an added flex, and that’s how she would spin it – that all the money she has comes directly from her songwriting, from the notes and the chords and the lyrics that came from her, directly from her. This is BIG swagger. 

To go back to the marketing side of it though, as we have established, with all those assists from sports leagues and business media outlets and the social media frenzy over her new romance with Travis Kelce, Taylor …hasn’t had to do much. 


By her standards, she’s actually been kinda quiet for the release of 1989 (TV). Taylor hasn’t done an interview in almost a year, since Midnights dropped. There have been a few posts here and there on her social accounts but not nearly as active as she has been in the past. I work with several Swifties, I confirmed this with them. She’s not posting clues and teaser videos, she’s not doing a lot of Easter egg dropping (although people are Easter egg hunting right now with all the vault songs that have been packaged with the new album) and this is smart, too, because if everyone else is doing that work for her, including her new butler, the NFL, then adding to that would almost be overkill. This is savvy restraint from her and her team. 

And this may have been why she just casually hung out with her friends yesterday in New York, just hours before the album drop, like it was an ordinary Thursday, showing up to Bradley Cooper’s place yesterday with Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Shawn Levy, Hugh Jackman, and others. And if she’s looking like she’s feeling herself in her sweater dress and those boots highlighting those long legs…well… she should be. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a superstar riding this much momentum this lucratively. No but seriously, she looks amazing in this outfit, she looks amazing right now, she’s actually never looked better than she has over these last few weeks. 


If you subscribe to The Squawk, look out for our new mailbag newsletter coming out later today and Taylor’s stronghold over the gossip ecosystem right now is one of the discussion topics – especially as related to one of her cultural competitors who have been crushed by this season of Taylor Swift supremacy.