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Taylor Swift’s Music Returns to TikTok Amid UMG Licensing Dispute

ByHuey Yee Ong

Apr 13, 2024

Taylor Swift’s Music Returns to TikTok Amid UMG Licensing Dispute

Taylor Swift’s music has made a return to TikTok, lighting up the platform after a 10-week hiatus. The tracks making their comeback are notably Swift’s newer releases and her “Taylor’s Version” songs, which are re-recordings that she owns.

This happens while TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG) are in a dispute. UMG took off its artists’ music from TikTok due to a disagreement over a new licensing deal.

UMG accused TikTok of attempting to force them into accepting a less favorable deal than before, especially against the backdrop of TikTok’s substantial growth. They argued that TikTok’s approach was to leverage its platform influence to disadvantage newer artists specifically, thereby pressuring UMG into submission.

TikTok, however, has dismissed these claims. They argue that they’re an important platform for promoting music and that they benefit artists and labels.

This disagreement has affected several artists under UMG, like Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande, with their music still missing from TikTok. Swift, however, has found a way around by re-recording her old albums, which means her “Taylor’s Version” tracks have found their way back to the platform. This comes just as Swift is about to drop her new album, “The Tortured Poets Department”, and being on TikTok can help with promotion.

A report by Variety notes that Swift’s music return is a solo venture, not extending to other UMG artists still absent from TikTok. There’s speculation that Swift might have struck an individual deal with TikTok. The report also mentions that music from some UMG artists like Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello has appeared on TikTok, possibly uploaded by fans or their teams, indicating they might have found a different way to get their music on the platform without a formal deal.


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Featured Image courtesy of MICHAEL TRAN, AFP via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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