If being liked within her industry means anything to superstar Taylor Swift, she certainly took action recently that will ensure that outcome in a broad-based way.
The result that Swift engineered via her sheer commercial clout and persona as what the publication Rolling Stone calls “artist as businessperson” benefits both her personally and legions of other musical performers. Reportedly, Swift has used her iconic and highly influential industry status as a negotiating platform in her recently penned contract with Universal Music Group. That agreement will yield a windfall for both Swift and all other artists under that label if a certain outcome unfolds.
That outcome is this: any sale of shares in the music streaming company Spotify held by UMG. Rolling Stone states that the record label has agreed “to hand over to artists, on a non-recoupable basis, a portion of the windfall from its [sold] Spotify shares in the future.” The promise contains an assurance that nothing will be held back or reclaimed from unrecovered advances provided to those artists.
Swift seems notably buoyed by the coup, which she says entails “much better terms” than what she was offered by Sony and Warner (the other two players that, along with UMG, comprise the so-called “Big Three” in the record label universe). Warner, for example, sprinkled largesse on its artists from Spotify shares sold earlier this year, but then promptly reclaimed money from entertainers under contract that it claimed had accounts in the red.
There are no such limitations in the deal Swift made with UMG. That label’s artists are undoubtedly huge Swift fans presently.
The agreement is “a sign we are headed toward positive change for creators,” says Swift, who adds that enhanced artist control and autonomy is “a goal I’m never going to stop trying to help achieve.”