By Jem Aswad and Chris Willman for Variety
Taylor Swift has signed a new global recording agreement with Universal Music Group, the company announced today. Under the
multi-year agreement, UMG will serve as the exclusive worldwide recorded music partner for Swift and UMG’s Republic Records will serve as her label partner in the U.S. The singer’s
previous deal with Big Machine Records, which released all of her previous albums and is distributed by UMG, ended earlier this month.
According to the announcement, the multi-album agreement, effective immediately, deepens the relationship between Swift and UMG and builds upon the success she achieved with Big
Machine — the label whose long-term strategic alliance with Republic Records first brought Swift into the UMG family. A ten-time Grammy winner distinguished as the youngest-ever
recipient of the Grammy for Album of the Year — and the first female solo artist to win the award twice — is the only artist in history with four albums with sales of more than one million copies
in their first week of release (2010’s “Speak Now,” 2012’s “Red,” 2014’s “1989” and 2017’s “Reputation”), respectively.
While terms of the deal were not announced, Swift stated in a Tumblr post that she will own her master recordings going forward, and that UMG will share with artists the proceeds
from the expected sale of its Spotify equity, and make them non-recoupable against the artists’ earnings, as Sony Music has done.
“Over the years, [UMG chairman/CEO] Sir Lucian Grainge and [Republic founder/CEO] Monte Lipman have been such incredible partners. It’s so thrilling to me that they, and the UMG team,
will be my label family moving forward. It’s also incredibly exciting to know that I own all of my master recordings that I make from now on. It’s really important to me to see eye to eye with a
label regarding the future of our industry. I feel so motivated by new opportunities created by the streaming world and the ever-changing landscape of our industry… I also feel strongly that
streaming was founded on and continues to thrive based on the magic created by artists, writers, and producers.
“There was one condition that meant more to me than any other deal point. As part of my new contract with Universal Music Group, I asked that any sale of their Spotify shares result in a
distribution of money to their artists, non-recoupable. They have generously agreed to this, at what they believe will be much better terms and paid out previously by other major labels. I see
this is a sign that we are headed toward positive change for creators – a goal I’m never going to stop trying to help achieve, in whatever ways I can. I’m so happy to have Sir Lucian
Grainge as a partner in these efforts.