Taylor Swift has made her songs available again on TikTok. What this decision says about how she views social media… – Yahoo Entertainment

Taylor Swift has made her songs available again on TikTok.  What this decision says about how she views social media… – Yahoo Entertainment

Taylor Swift’s songs have returned to TikTok months after news of a licensing dispute between the platform and Universal Music Group (UMG) and ahead of the highly anticipated release of her album. Her deal with TikTok, which went against UMG’s wishes, proves that Swift doesn’t need labels. What she needs are fans.

Even though Swift has been part of UMG’s publishing division since 2018, she appears to have signed a separate deal with TikTok, likely because she owns its masters, meaning she has full creative control over her music. According to the Wall Street Journal, when Swift’s team outlined plans to promote The Department of Tortured Poets on TikTok, it was to the surprise of the label’s executives. UMG asked Swift’s team to reconsider its decision, saying it was important “for the industry” that its catalog remained off the platform.

A representative for Swift did not respond to a request for comment.

“It’s not so much that Taylor Swift needs TikTok, but rather a particular kind of fan engagement that TikTok makes possible,” said Paula Harper, an assistant professor in the University of Chicago’s music department. , at Yahoo Entertainment. According to Harper, the engagement TikTok offers goes beyond what UMG itself can facilitate.

That’s why Swift’s camp hasn’t budged on the decision to return to TikTok. Swift fandom expects a specific type of preparation for album releases that Swift has become synonymous with since her 2008 debut album.

“The way Swift’s fans work is so particular, and the way they work with her music is so particular, so it fits exactly with the way social media fandom works,” Harper explained, referring to ” Easter eggs” and Swift codes. leaves for the fans. “Research and surveys – fan involvement on this very granular, detail-oriented scale – is something Swift needs to make her releases as successful as possible.”

Vinyl record sales of his albums are perfect social media fodder, as are in-person promotional events.

“It’s something that’s designed to be put out on TikTok,” Harper said. “It’s designed for fans to post videos, and then other fans on TikTok to screenshot, zoom, enhance, and collaboratively work on all these kinds of cryptic preview clues that she leaves us.”

Swift has always used some form of social media to interact with her fans. Early in his career, it was Tumblr; in front of her Reputation released in 2017, she deleted all her Instagram posts. For 2022 Midnightsher latest album of all-new material, Swift released a track reveal video for each song in a TikTok series she called “Midnights Mayhem With Me.”

His relationship with fans is essential to his success. In fact, allegations that Poets had leaked Thursday had the fandom, by respectrefusing to listen.

“She needs fans to maintain the current dominance she has over the music industry,” Harper argued. “More to the point, she needs fan engagement.”

What if we fought for small artists?

When UMG announced it would revoke its licensing agreement with TikTok in January, TikTok emphasized in a report that it had helped launch the careers of many artists by being a “free vehicle for the promotion and discovery of their talent”. But one of the main disputes between UMG and TikTok was over low compensation for artists and songwriters.

Neither TikTok nor UMG responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s requests for comment.

Swift is a billionaire and, as Harper suggests, leverages the platform for fan engagement. But for an artist who threatened to withdraw it 1989 Apple Music’s album because the company wasn’t paying artists for free trials for new customers and withheld its catalog from Spotify to protest pay rates for artists and producers, its return to TikTok might seem antithetical to his support of up-and-coming artist programs.

“She has a history of these various actions that can be interpreted as solidarity with small artists,” Harper said. “But she has a lot more power than she wields for this kind of cause.” This is why I would say, for me, [rejoining TikTok] is relatively consistent with Taylor Swift’s story.

Swift ended up putting her catalog back on Spotify a few months before the 2017 release of Reputation. It indirectly called attention to the monopoly of Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment, resulting in a Department of Justice investigation into the ticketing industry, particularly the unregulated secondary ticketing market, where Swift tickets were resold for thousands of dollars. But she still works with them.

“She is fundamentally not in solidarity with the majority of artists who make money as musicians, and that is exactly the reality,” Harper said.

TikTok is part of the music industry, whether UMG perceives it that way or not. Harper argued that it’s not fair to say that TikTok is “synonymous” with the industry — it has become a music platform in the same way that Spotify and Apple Music are music platforms.

“TikTok is not only [a] “It’s a new way to promote music, but it’s fully enshrined and recognized as part of the music industry,” Harper said. “Taylor Swift is one of the rare winners in the incredibly stratified contemporary music industry.”


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