Taylor Swift has finally signed a deal after a bidding war that has lasted months. Swift was signed to Big Machine Records since aged 14 and clearly worked hard to maximise Swift's profits and grow her brand worldwide. Big Machine's decision (along with Swift of course) to window music outside of streaming networks proved that streaming is not the only way music can be released and was deemed a massive success probably generated revenue in excess of 5 times that of streaming revenues.
The deal with Universal comes at a time when Universal is trying to sell up to 50% of its shares. Whatever the exact details of the deal with Swift, this will probably be a massive bonus to Universal in helping sell and value the shares, even though Swift's value in terms of future sales is difficult to measure.
The deal sees Swift retain rights to her masters and sources close to the deal say it is a “long-term” deal. As part of the deal, Universal has agreed that if it sells its stake in Spotify, the proceeds will be paid to artists, a “condition that meant more to me than any other deal point”, Swift said via an Instagram post.
Of course, Big Machine still owns the copyrights of Swift's music to date and Universal will probably buy the company. Scott Borchetta, Big Machine's owner is probably a very happy man.