The record deal Taylor Swift signed when she was just 15-years-old is reportedly set to expire in November, Variety reports. Swift has remained an industry powerhouse since the release of her self-titled album in 2008 and has showed no signs of slowing down. In the wake of her most recent album, Reputation(the best-selling album of 2017, according to Billboard), Swift stands to become one of the most influential people in music as her decision in November could shake up the entire industry.
Swift is currently signed to Big Machine Records, a Nashville-based Universal Music Group label. Swift was the indie label’s first signed artist and set the precedent for the record label’s success in the following years. Swift does have the legal power to negotiate with other record companies as of right now, but cannot formally sign anything until November.
This isn’t the first time a power shift has shaken things up for Big Machine. The New York Post reported back in 2014 that owner Scott Borchetta was attempting to sell the label for over $200 million (he later decided not to). According to the same article, Swift’s family owns a piece of the label (although it is unclear exactly how much). To some, this could be a reason for Swift to stay with Big Machine. Another reason is Big Machine’s ability to grant her the rights to her previous albums, according to Forbes. Leaving her label would almost certainly keep these rights away from her.
While Swift has yet to comment on the matter, it is clear she has a multitude of options to choose from. From staying with her current label to perhaps starting her own, Swift has a big decision to make.
Swift has been busy on her latest (and perhaps biggest) tour yet. Forbes reported the Reputation Stadium Tour has grossed over $100 million in North America as of early August and the artist has earned outstanding reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone. No matter what Swift does in November, one thing is clear: she’s a businesswoman who has continued to impress in the digital music age. Reputation has been certified Platinum three times by the RIAA, and stands as a testament to Swift’s longevity as the followup to 1989, one of her most commercially successful albums ever.
Taylor Swift once defied all music industry laws by successfully crossing over from country to pop years ago. All eyes will be on her to see if she pulls off another industry-shaking transition in November.