Taylor Swift’s Latest Move Reveals Her Unrivaled Industry Clout!

Taylor Swift brings her music back to TikTok, undermining a UMG attempt to keep off the platform.
Swift’s copyright agreement with UMG gives her control over where her music is available.

Her move is celebrated by fans and highlights the influence she holds in the music industry.

Taylor Swift’s music is back on TikTok, undermining an effort by her record label to keep its company’s music off the social media platform.

Swift is the only Universal Music Group artist who has been able to make her music available to TikTok users amid an ongoing spat between the music publisher and the social media platform. Most of the pop sensation’s songs returned to TikTok on Thursday, a week before she’s set to launch her new album.

Swift owns the copyright on several of her albums, part of a deal struck with UMG when she signed with them in 2018. It gives her control of where her work is available, unlike other UMG artists, whose music is still off TikTok.

The move is another example of the power Swift holds by owning her music. She re-recorded six of her albums after their rights were sold to a private equity firm by Scooter Braun, a high-power music manager with whom she had feuded over her music catalog.

UMG and a representative for Swift did not respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

The news of Swift’s music’s return to TikTok is being celebrated by fans and TikTok creators, many of whom said they were surprised to be able to use her music on Thursday. Many of these fans are also anticipating the songs from Swift’s new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” set to release on April 19.

UMG directed TikTok to mute its songs on January 31, after the two companies failed to negotiate royalties for artists and the use of AI on the platform. The dispute has not spread to other major labels like Sony or Warner Music Group, the latter of which renewed a multi-year licensing deal with TikTok in July.

“TikTok wants you to think that since they are giving artists ‘free promotion’ for which artists should be grateful, they have no obligation to pay them fairly. What they don’t tell you is that they are generating tens of billions of dollars of revenue from artists’ work,” a UMG representative told BI in February.

Swift’s latest effort highlights how much influence she holds in the industry. In the past year, she reached billionaire status, became the first artist to win four “Album of the Year” Grammy awards, and boosted economies around the world on her Eras Tour.

In 2014, Swift pulled her music off streaming giant Spotify over concerns of their “freemium” business model. She brought her music back in 2017 after several attempts by the platform’s CEO to convince her about the importance of streaming.

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