Universal Music Group (UMG) is reportedly changing its artists’ agreements to prevent future re-recordings of Taylor Swift-esque music.
To avoid similar situations in the future artists, UMG would “actually doubled the time that the contracts prevent an artist to re-record his work” two years after the expiry of a contract of 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.
The labels were less threatened by an artist re-recording his music with success before the expansion of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, and ease of digital self-registration and self-promoting 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.)
As part of the Swift agreement with UMG, the label is the exclusive worldwide musical partner and Republic Records label its US partner.
Swift has already reissued her second album Fearless (Taylor Version) originally released in 2008, in November 2020, and most recently released in 2012 RedBoth with featured artists and pieces added to his safe that have never been added to the original versions. His songs rerecorded already surpass the originals on streaming services in addition to conclude licensing agreements for the artist.
In addition to the reported contract changes at UMG, iHeart Radio has recently committed to exclusively play Swift songs that the artist re-recorded.