Report: UMG deals lengthen re-record restrictions but increase royalties


As the industry picked over the data around how Taylor Swift’s first two re-recorded albums are performing compared to the original versions, the Wall Street Journal reported on a knock-on effect at the major label she works with: UMG. “In its recent agreements, Universal has been effectively doubling the amount of time that the contracts restrict an artist from rerecording their work,” claimed its report, although it later clarifies that “the changes predate Ms. Swift’s rerecording endeavor”.

Whereas standard contracts specified that artists could not re-record their work until five years after the delivery of their last recording or two years after the end of their contract – whichever was later – UMG is seeking to increase that to seven and five years respectively, claimed the WSJ.

UMG has not commented on the report, which also suggests that it is adding “increases in royalty payments to artists and more transparency into how royalties are calculated”.

Written by: Stuart Dredge