Taylor Swift’s Music Is Back on TikTok—Right Before Her New Album Drops - 3 minutes read

In the drawn-out contract battle between TikTok and Universal Music Group, a high-profile exemption has been made for Taylor Swift. A few of her songs became available again as TikTok sounds on Thursday, just a week before the release of Swift’s latest album, The Tortured Poets Department. It remains unclear what kind of arrangement was made for her official music to come back or how long it will remain on the social media platform.

Madeline Macrae, a Swift fan and TikTok creator, heard the news Thursday morning and immediately started searching TikTok and Google to confirm it wasn’t some hoax. “I'm really excited to have that catalog back, and I don't have to rely on sped-up versions or edited versions,” she says. “I can just use her actual music.” Songs like “Cruel Summer,” “Cardigan,” and “Style (Taylor’s Version)” can now be used by content creators on the platform, as first reported by Variety.

In addition to being excited about using Swift songs in new videos, Macrae is grateful for the pop megastar’s music to be potentially unmuted for her past videos on TikTok. “I was going back and forth on deleting them or keeping them, because they look kind of silly muted,” she says. When UMG’s music was initially pulled from TikTok’s library in January, many creators were stunned to see their archive of past videos with certain songs go silent overnight.

Does this mean that The Tortured Poets Department album will be available to use for videos on TikTok? It’s uncertain, but Macrae is hopeful: “I think this move also just shows the power of Taylor Swift.” Billie Eilish, another major UMG artist, will soon be promoting her upcoming album, May’s Hit Me Hard and Soft, but Eilish fans will have to wait to see if her music also returns to TikTok before it drops.

Most UMG artists have been absent from TikTok for nearly 10 weeks, greatly shifting the user experience on the social media platform and opening the door for non-UMG artists, like Beyoncé, to go viral with TikTok’s algorithm.

It remains a mystery when the long-standing contract dispute between TikTok and UMG will come to a resolution. As one of the biggest record companies in the world, UMG removing songs from TikTok has impacted the careers of many established artists as well as rising stars. Multiple artists expressed frustration about the move, often citing disrupted marketing plans or decreased audience reach. A spokesperson for UMG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

No matter what eventually happens between the two companies, Swifties on TikTok are feeling grateful for her music’s return as they prepare for listening parties to celebrate the new album. “I already know my Friday night plans,” says Macrae. “Staying in with friends, drinking some wine, and just listening to this album.” Sounds like an evening of truly social media.

Source: Wired

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