Swift, who with best-selling albums like "1989"
and "Reputation" is one of pop music's wealthiest and most
influential artists, said the deal with Universal Music Group (UMG)
included an agreement that any potential sale of UMG's shares in
Spotify "result in a distribution of money to their artists,
"They have generously agreed to this, at what they believe will
be much better terms and paid out previously by other major
labels," the "Fearless" singer told her 113 million Instagram
followers in a posting.
Spotify, which with some 83 million paid subscribers is the
world's most popular paid music streaming service, went public
"I feel strongly that streaming was founded on and continues to
thrive based on the magic created by artists, writers and
producers," Swift wrote.
Swift, 28, said she would also own all of her master recordings
going forward. The financial terms of her deal with UMG were not
Swift has long used her leverage in the industry to campaign for
better payments to artists from streaming services. In 2017, she
returned her music to Spotify almost three years after
complaining publicly that streaming services did not pay artists
Online streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have
become the recording industry's single biggest revenue source,
and last year overtook physical sales of CDs and digital
downloads for the first time, global industry body IFPI said in
an April report.
Universal Music, a unit of Vivendi, said the multi-album,
multi-year agreement was effective immediately.
Universal Music chief executive Lucian Grainge said in a
statement that he respected Swift's campaign for better terms.
"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," Grainge said.
Swift, who began her music career at age 15 as a country singer
with small independent Nashville label Big Machine Records, has
earned 10 Grammys and is the only artist with four albums that
have sold more than one million copies in their first week of
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Frances Kerry; Editing
by Frances Kerry)
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