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Taylor Swift’s music returns to TikTok despite platform’s ongoing dispute with UMG

After ten weeks away from the platform, Taylor Swift’s music is back on TikTok, or at least her most recent songs and “Taylor’s Edition” clips, since she owns the master tapes.

Taylor Swift’s music, along with that of all artists signed to Universal Music Group, was pulled from TikTok after the two parties were unable to reach a new licensing deal. UMG issued a scathing press release accusing TikTok of trying to “coerce” the brand into accepting a deal that was worth less than previous deals. UMG sees its refusal to reach a deal with TikTok as a means to defend emerging artists.

“How to do [TikTok] Trying to intimidate us? By selectively removing the music of certain rising artists while keeping the global stars we attract audiences on the platform,” UMG wrote. “TikTok’s strategy is clear: Use the power of its platform to harm vulnerable artists and seek to intimidate We admit to a bad deal that undervalues ​​music and defrauds artists, songwriters and their fans. “

TikTok did not respond to a request for comment.

UMG also represents superstars like Billie Eilish, BTS, Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo, but Swift is in a unique position. After going through her own contract dispute, Swift has been re-recording her old albums in an effort to regain ownership of the songs. Her “Taylor Version” recording is back on TikTok, but songs from records like “Reputation,” which doesn’t yet have a “Taylor Version,” are still not available on the platform.

The timing of Swift’s return to TikTok is no coincidence. Next week, Swift will release her new album, The Tortured Poets Department. Even an artist as big as Swift isn’t immune to the necessity of social media marketing — if fans can’t TikTok using sounds from the new record, the album might be… slightly less ubiquitous? But the partnership is also good for TikTok. With a fan base like Swift’s, it’s inevitable that there will be a ton of audio trending from the album, and TikTok doesn’t want to miss out on that kind of engagement, especially since Reels will have the music anyway.

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