Taylor Swift Changes Universal Music Artist Contracts

Universal Music Group (UMG) is reportedly changing its artists’ agreements to prevent future re-recordings of Taylor Swift-esque music.

To avoid similar situations with artists in the future, UMG reportedly “effectively doubled the length of time that contracts prevent an artist from re-recording their work” from two years from the expiration of a contract to five years. after delivery of the final work under contract. at five and seven years, respectively, or whichever is later. The UMG contract changes could prompt other major labels like Sony Music and Warner Music to follow suit.

Labels were less threatened by an artist successfully re-recording their music before the expansion of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, and the ease of digital self-recording and self-promotion of music on platforms like Instagram. and TikTok.

Recently signing an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with Universal, Swift began the process of re-releasing her first six albums, culminating with her 2017 album. Reputation, after Big Machine Records was acquired by Ithaca Holdings then owner Scooter Braun, who took over ownership of the master recordings of Swift’s previous releases in 2019 without consulting her. (In April 2021, Braun sold Ithaca Holdings – including SB Projects and Big Machine Label Group – to South Korean company HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, for $1 billion.)

Under Swift’s deal with UMG, the label is her exclusive worldwide music partner and Republic Records her US label partner.

Swift has already reissued her second album Dauntless (Taylor version), originally released in 2008, in November 2020, and most recently released in 2012 Red, both with featured artists and added tracks from its vault that were never added to the original releases. His re-recorded songs are already outperforming the originals on streaming services, in addition to securing licensing deals for the artist.

In addition to reported contract changes at UMG, iHeart Radio recently pledged to exclusively play Swift tracks that the artist has re-recorded.