Remember When Taylor Swift Pulled Her Music from Spotify in 2017?—TikTok Payouts Are Even Worse

Taylor Swift TikTok payouts
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Taylor Swift TikTok payouts
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Photo Credit: Jonathan Kemper

Taylor Swift withheld her music from Spotify in 2017 with the release of Reputation. The singer sent fans to traditional outlets for downloads, vinyl, and CD sales. Now ahead of the release of The Tortured Poets Department, Swift’s music has returned to TikTok despite the UMG row—where artist payouts are even less.

One suggested reason for the Reputation gatekeeping in 2017 was the Swift team working on a ‘gated’ release on Spotify. That would have restricted the album to Spotify Premium subscribers only—taking advantage of a deal struck to lower royalty rates but allow time-gated marquee albums. Reputation finally made its way to streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify in December 2017—about a month after the album’s official release.

But now the superstar doesn’t want to be without the virality of TikTok—as her music has appeared on the platform again sans muting. All of Taylor Swift’s music was removed from the platform along with other Universal Music Group tracks—though it’s unclear why Swift’s tracks are back. Songs from other UMG-backed stars including Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande remain unavailable.

Taylor Swift’s new album The Tortured Poets Department is dropping on April 19, 2024 and her team wants the TikTok leverage to keep the album in the Gen Z zeitgeist as long as possible. Making the songs available on TikTok is the main part of that—artist payments be damned. Swifties will be happy about the return of her music to TikTok—but the battle over royalty payments on the platform is no where near over.

Taylor Swift dropped the full tracklist for the upcoming album on February 5, revealing collabs with Post Malone and Florence + the Machine.

  1. Fortnight (feat. Post Malone) 3:48
  2. The Tortured Poets Department 4:53
  3. My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys 3:23
  4. Down Bad 4:21
  5. So Long, London 4:22
  6. But Daddy I Love Him 5:40
  7. Fresh Out the Slammer 3:30
  8. Florida!!! (feat. Florence + the Machine) 3:35
  9. Guilty as Sin? 4:14
  10. Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me? 5:34
  11. I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can) 2:36
  12. loml 4:37
  13. I Can Do It With a Broken Heart 3:38
  14. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived 4:05
  15. The Alchemy 3:16
  16. Clara Bow 3:36