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Taylor Swift's Free Agent Status May Make History

Giant bidding war gears up to sign her in November
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2018 8:45 AM CDT
Taylor Swift performs during her Reputation Stadium Tour at Gillette Stadium July 26, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass.   (Photo by Robert E. Klein/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Taylor Swift has been signed to Big Machine Records since the age of 15, but Variety reports that the 28-year-old becomes a free agent in November—and the bidding war could make music history. If she signed a five-album deal, for example, that could mean nine figures given some predictions of $20 million per album. “There’s no precedent to look to regarding the top-selling artist of the digital era becoming a total free agent,” a top music industry lawyer tells Variety. "If she is seeking to break financial records and extend with a major, she could have the biggest artist deal of the century so far."

The website breaks down the possibilities, which range from re-signing with Big Machine—if the label is willing to part with the rights to the masters of her first six albums—to switching to a bigger label, to ditching the need for a label altogether. As a post at Axios notes, "When it comes to Swift's next contract, she'll hold all the power to fill in the 'blank space' on her paychecks for years to come." (Swift's video for "Delicate" had people parsing it for clues.)

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