As Swift started gaining more and more power, she found the courage to speak up about injustices in the music industry. After learning that artists and musicians will not receive royalties during Spotify’s free trial period, Taylor made a move that seemed extreme, removing all of her music from all streaming services. Taylor wrote an open letter to Apple Music, saying that all artists, big and small, deserve to be able to make money off of their music. After media attention and public pressure, Apple decided to start giving artists royalties during the free trial. The trend caught on and other streaming services followed. Taylor ended up putting her music back on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music in 2017. This was unprecedented and has changed the power dynamic between streaming services and musicians.
Nowadays, Taylor has embarked on a new project which is already changing the face of the industry: rerecording her old albums. You may not know this, but artists do not actually own the music they write and create, instead, it belongs to the record label. Many artists sign their first record deals at a very young age, before having a clear understanding of what they are signing away. Swift’s masters were all sold to record executive Scooter Braun, which means he owns all of the music that she had made prior to her 2019 album “Lover”. Every time someone streams her music, she does not see a penny from it – but he does. Swift has spoken out, saying that she feels like artists should own their own work, not only because of monetary aspects but simply because it is their life’s legacy. Taylor has decided to be vocal about the topic and try to encourage a fairer working model between artists and record labels. Rerecording her previous albums, thus making sure her music her’s again, is a step in the right direction.