Saturday, February 24, 2024

Taylor Swift, Free at Last, Leaves Big Machine Records for Universal Music Group in Blockbuster Deal


The days of Taylor Swift at Big Machine Records are over. The international pop star has signed a mega deal with Universal Music Group and Republic Records. Republic now has both Swift and Ariana Grande. That’s a checkmate.

Swift spent a decade with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine, which used UMG for distribution. Borchetta made her a star. But Big Machine couldn’t afford to keep Swift, who among other things wanted all her master recordings back if she stayed. That demand couldn’t be met if Big Machine was to retain any value in a sale.

So UMG — which also boasts Lady Gaga and is the number 1 record label– has really cornered the market on contemporary female singers. (They also have Katy Perry on Capitol.)

Republic’s next move with Taylor Swift will be to find her a way back to her huge “1989” success. Her most recent album, “Reputation,” was less of a hit and showed that Swift needs new challenges. She also chose to appear on the American Music awards last month, which probably lessened her chances for Grammy Awards for “Reputation.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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