Music

Taylor Swift’s Catalog Is Back on TikTok Ahead of New Album

Much of Taylor Swift‘s discography is back on TikTok on Thursday (April 11), returning a little over a week before the anticipated release of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, due out April 19.

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Official audio for hits like “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version),” “Cruel Summer” and “Style (Taylor’s Version)” are among the songs now available for users to make videos with on the short-form app. It appears that there are no official audio for Swift’s songs released before her album Lover, meaning the original recordings from Fearless, Speak Now and Red — recorded for the Big Machine record label — are not available, though her recent re-recordings of those albums are.

Swift’s catalog was pulled from TikTok at the start of February after the parent company for her record label and publisher, Universal Music Group, announced that it was letting its licensing agreement with TikTok lapse, citing that the app was not willing to pay for the “fair value” of music, as well as other concerns like AI and artist safety. That affected songs by many of music’s biggest stars, including Swift, Drake, SZA, Olivia Rodrigo and more, who all have recording and/or publishing contracts with the company.

For Swift, the ownership of her Big Machine catalog has been the subject of much conversation in recent years. Her first six albums — covering her self-titled debut in 2006 through 2017’s Reputation — were sold to Scooter Braun in 2019 after the manager and entrepreneur’s Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine in a deal worth more than $300 million.

That sparked a backlash from Swift, who vowed to re-record each of those albums in order to re-release them and own the recordings herself; she has since released “Taylor’s Version” re-recordings of Fearless, Red, Speak Now and 1989. In 2018, Swift signed a deal with UMG to license her future recordings to Republic Records, and has since released four additional albums through that deal, the copyrights to which she also owns. While it’s unclear why her recordings are back on TikTok, it’s notable that the tracks that she owns are the ones that are available.

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In a letter to its artists on Jan. 30 explaining the licensing spat, UMG wrote, “With respect to the issue of artist and songwriter compensation, TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay.”

TikTok fired back at UMG’s announcement hours later, saying, “It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.”

In addition to her label deal with Republic Records, Swift has been signed to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) as a songwriter since 2020; previously, she was signed to Sony Music Publishing as a songwriter. Her frequent collaborator, Jack Antonoff, was also signed to Sony Music Publishing until he switched to UMPG in August 2023.

Reps for TikTok, Universal and UMPG did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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