Taylor Swift's music is back on TikTok, despite platform's ongoing UMG dispute

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After 10 weeks of being absent from the platform, Taylor Swift's music has returned to TikTok -- or at least her more recent songs and "Taylor's Version" cuts, since she owns those masters.

Taylor Swift's music, and music from all artists signed to Universal Music Group, was pulled from TikTok when the two parties were unable to come to a renewed licensing agreement. UMG published a scathing press release accusing TikTok of trying to "bully" the label into accepting a deal worth less than its previous one. UMG framed its refusal to come to a deal with TikTok as a means of standing up for emerging artists.

"How did [TikTok] try to intimidate us? By selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars," UMG wrote. "TikTok’s tactics are obvious: use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans."

TikTok did not respond to a request for comment.

UMG also represents superstars like Billie Eilish, BTS, Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo, but Swift is in a unique position. After contractual disputes of her own, Swift has been re-recording her old albums to reclaim ownership of the songs. Her "Taylor's Version" recordings are back on TikTok, but songs from records like "Reputation," which doesn't yet have a "Taylor's Version," are still absent from the platform.

The timing of Swift's return to TikTok isn't a coincidence. Next week, Swift will release her new album, "The Tortured Poets Department." Even artists as huge as Swift are not immune to the necessity for social media marketing -- and if fans can't make TikToks using sounds from the new record, the album might be … slightly less ubiquitous? But the partnership is beneficial for TikTok too. With a fanbase like Swift's, it's inevitable that numerous audio trends will emerge from the album, and TikTok won't want to miss out on that engagement, especially since Reels will have that music anyway.