Taylor Swift has a new record deal – and she’s using it to lobby for higher paydays for her new labelmates.
Swift announced on Instagram Monday that she signed a multi-year agreement with Universal Music Group and its subsidiary Republic Records, joining artists including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande on Republic’s roster.
Considering she’s one of the most powerful names in music, Swift came away from the deal – the financial details of which are undisclosed – with some major benefits. She shared with her Instagram followers that under her new contract she owns her master recordings for the music she makes with UMG.
“It’s also incredibly exciting to know that I’ll own all of my master recordings that I make from now on,” she wrote.
Swift also shared that as part of her new deal she asked for “one condition” aimed at ensuring that artists are compensated fairly for their Spotify presence. The deal states UMG’s sales of its Spotify shares will result in money distributed to the label’s artists, a point of the deal that Swift noted “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,” she wrote. “They have generously agreed to this, at what they believe will be much better terms than paid out previously by other major labels. I see this as a sign that we are headed towards positive changes for creators – a goal I’m never going to stop trying to help achieve, in whatever ways I can.”
Swift’s agreement with UMG formalizes the company’s commitment to sharing the wealth with its artists. Music Business Worldwide estimates UMG’s Spotify shares are worth around $850 million. Earlier this year, a UMG spokesperson told Music Business Worldwide that the company would share some of its proceeds with artists in the case of a Spotify equity sale.
This isn’t the first time Swift has gone to bat for artists against streaming services. She previously pulled her albums from Apple Music in 2015 to protest Apple’s decision to forego paying artists during a free three-month trial of the service.
Shortly after, Apple Music announced that the policy would be eliminated, and Swift’s music returned to the streaming service.
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