Taylor Swift’s music returns to TikTok despite ongoing licensing dispute

Taylor Swift’s music has made a comeback on TikTok after a licensing dispute led her label, Universal Music, to pull her songs from the platform. 

The return of her music on Thursday coincides with the upcoming release of her new album, “The Tortured Poets Department.”

In January, Universal Music removed songs from its artists, including Rihanna and Ariana Grande, due to a licensing disagreement with TikTok. This move highlighted ongoing concerns among artists over TikTok’s royalty payments.

While many of Taylor Swift’s popular tracks, such as “You Belong With Me” and “Cruel Summer,” are now available again for users to include in their videos, music from other Universal artists remains absent from the platform.

Swift’s unique situation stems from a 2018 deal with Universal that grants her ownership of her music’s copyright. Some reports suggest Swift may have negotiated a separate agreement with TikTok.

While the dispute still remains unresolved, and it is not clear how the music returned to the platform, Swift’s fans, known as “Swifties,” were happy and shared their excitement on TikTok.

Verified user Jessica Golich commented, “OMG this made my whole year,” and anticipated using tracks from Swift’s new album for videos. Another user, Divendra Rai, shared a lip-syncing video to “Cruel Summer,” welcoming Swift’s music back to the platform.

In a statement released on January 30, Universal Music voiced concerns about TikTok’s approach to music licensing, accusing the platform of building a music-centric business without offering fair compensation to artists.

Universal also highlighted the issue of fair compensation for artists whose music is used in AI-generated songs that mimic real artists, citing a viral example that imitated Drake and The Weeknd.

Taylor Swift unveiled her upcoming album during the Grammy Awards ceremony earlier this year. “The Tortured Poets Department,” set to be released on April 19, will be Swift’s 11th studio album.

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