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Taylor Swift Songs Make TikTok Comeback Amid The Platform’s Dispute With Universal Music


Taylor Swift Songs Make TikTok Comeback Amid The Platform’s Dispute With Universal Music

Swifties rejoice! Taylor Swift’s music has unexpectedly returned to TikTok after a 10-week absence from the platform due to an ongoing licensing dispute between TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG), the Financial Times reports

As of Thursday morning, multiple Swift songs, including “You Belong With Me,” “Lover,” and tracks from her re-recorded albums are once again available for users to incorporate into their TikTok videos.

Swift’s catalog re-emerges on TikTok just ahead of the release of her new studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” on April 19. While the reason for the return is unclear, Variety believes TikTok likely reached a separate deal with the pop superstar, who owns the master recording rights to her music through a 2018 agreement with UMG. 

According to Variety, this would allow Swift to negotiate a separate licensing arrangement for TikTok despite UMG’s ongoing dispute with the platform.

The dispute between TikTok and UMG began in late January when the companies failed to renew their licensing pact. The latter accused TikTok of trying to secure an undervalued deal that did not correctly address compensation and issues like AI and piracy concerns. TikTok denied these claims, saying UMG was creating a “false narrative.”

In response to Universal’s accusations, TikTok started removing the label’s music from the platform and muting videos featuring it.

Over the past five years, TikTok has become the biggest platform for music discovery and promotion, with labels explicitly pushing artists to create viral hits on the app. While many artists agree with UMG’s stance on higher royalty rates and better protections, the removal from TikTok has been a significant blow for many artists. 

Variety speculates that Swift could partner with TikTok to promote her new album, similar to her presence on the platform for 2022’s “Midnights.” Financial Times sources familiar with the matter claim the singer’s return had been in the works for some time.

Representatives for Swift, UMG, and TikTok did not comment on returning the artist’s songs to the app.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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