Taylor Swift has been in a binding contract with the record label Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) since 2006, when she debuted her first album at 16, and this November their time together is draws to a close.
Taylor Swift and BMLG have come along way together and, since Taylor has sold 32 million albums just in the US alone, BMLG has also grown into a powerhouse brand.
However, the famous pop singer has now found herself in a bidding war with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, given her position as one of music's only sure thing, Taylor could potentially pull off "the biggest artist deal of the century".
So why won't BMLG just re-sign Taylor Swift? Well, rumour has it, she is talking to other labels to evaluate how much she is worth on the open market as one of the worlds biggest superstars. While BMLG can likely match any deal that any other label would offer her financially, at the heart of Swift’s discussions with BMLG are her gaining ownership of her masters from the label, which is the one thing that no other entity can offer her. But that is not an easy decision for Big Machine.
“What’s the value of these masters going to be over the next 30 years? And you have to weigh that against, what is the value of keeping the artist for four or so more albums?” says one source. “You’re weighing out the value of the back catalog versus the value of a few new albums.” Also if BMLG gives the multi-grammy winner her Masters in order to keep her, the value of the company would likely drastically drop.
So why does everyone in the music industry want to sign Taylor Swift?
A few reasons, such as last years Reputation album which sold 1.216 million copies in the first week. All eight of her albums have sold at least two million copies and the first few cities on the reputation stadium tours brought in $54 million and the gross for the full tour could top $400 million.
The biggest issue with Swift's next deal is the rights to the master recordings of her first six albums, BMLG won't give them up, and this is what is holding her back the most.