Taylor Swift Leaves Big Machine, Signs New Deal With Universal Music Group

Taylor Swift American Music Awards Second Win - Getty - H 2018
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The new worldwide record pact means the pop superstar is departing her label home since 2006.

Less than one month after becoming a free agent, Taylor Swift announced Monday that she's signed a new worldwide record deal with Universal Music Group, with UMG's Republic as her U.S. partner.

In an Instagram post announcing the deal, Swift posed with Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge and Republic Records CEO Monte Lipman, writing, "I'm ecstatic to announce that my musical home will be Republic Records and Universal Music Group. Over the years, Sir Lucian Grainge  and Monte Lipman have been such incredible partners. It's so thrilling to me that they, and the UMG team, will be my label family moving forward. It's also incredibly exciting to know that I'll own all of my master recordings that I make from now on."

The move means Swift is departing Big Machine, her label home since 2006. Swift has sold more than 32 million albums in the U.S. alone. Even in a streaming world with diminishing sales, Swift’s sales numbers remain daunting. Reputation sold more than 1 million copies in its first week, making Swift the only act to have four million-selling weeks, with four different albums, since Nielsen began tracking in 1991. Her biggest-selling album in the U.S. is 2008’s Fearless at 7.2 million copies. Republic had handled promotion of Swift's singles to radio for several years.

In a statement Grainge said, “Few artists in history approach Taylor Swift's combination of massive global hits and creative brilliance. She is so multi-talented, she can achieve anything. I have such enormous respect for Taylor, in particular for her use of her hard-earned influence to promote positive change. Because of her commitment to her fellow artists, not only did she want to partner with a company that understood her creative vision and had the resources and expertise to execute globally on her behalf, she also sought a partner whose approach to artists was aligned with hers. With these shared beliefs, there is so much we can accomplish together, and all of us at UMG are enormously proud to be embarking on the next chapter of her career alongside her.”

“Taylor has not only captured the imagination of an entire generation, but has also redefined the paradigm of the modern music industry," added Lipman, founder and CEO of Republic Records. "Her commitment to songwriting and performing has earned her the respect of her peers and millions of adoring fans around the world. I can only imagine what Taylor is capable of achieving in the years to come, both culturally and creatively. I’m beyond thrilled to create an alliance with Republic Records and the incomparable Taylor Swift.”

In celebrating her new home, Swift made it clear that owning her own masters was a big part of the deal, as well as having a forward-thinking outlook on the business. "It's really important to me to see eye to eye with a label regarding the future of our industry," she wrote. "I feel so motivated by new opportunities created by the streaming world and the ever changing landscape of our industry."

Depending on the year, Swift’s portion of Big Machine’s U.S. sales and streaming activity ranges from the 21.2 percent of the labels total in 2016 to the 56.6 percent she had in 2015. In 2017, it comprised 41.2 percent and so far this year, Swifts' sales and streaming account for 34.1 percent, according to Billboard calculations using Nielsen Music data.





My new home