How Taylor Swift’s Master Battle could change the music industry 

By Cuinn Huber 

On June 30, 2019, Taylor Swift’s world was flipped upside down when the rights to her first six albums were sold to talent agent Scooter Braun. This was especially painful for her since he had been involved in efforts to mock her  on social media with singers he manages like Justin Bieber. One of the many reasons Taylor did not renew her contract with Big Machine Records is because she knew they were going to sell her music, so she signed with Republic Records who are letting her own the music she is making on that label. Before the sale happened in 2019 most of the general public including myself and most aspiring recording artists did not know about who owned the rights to most of the music that is being put out. Now that this has been brought to our attention the newfound awareness will give the next generation of musicians an edge when they are signing with record labels. For example Olivia Rodrigo who owns her master recordings has said that Taylors master purchase inspired her to demand that she own her work when she was signed with her current label Geffen Records. I’m sure that there are many other singers who have seen Taylors example and now know to ask to own their masters when they are in talks with record labels. In addition to exposing the industry’s sleazy practices in regards to ownership, her deciding to take matters into her own hands and re-record her older music has been key to making sure the owner(s) of the older albums make minimal profit. This is because people like myself who know what is happening are only listening to the re-recorded versions of the albums she has released as can be seen by their chart performance. While this is far from an ideal situation at the very least the next generation now knows what to do to own their art from the start.