Swifties and influencers alike will be glad to learn that Taylor Swift’s music is back on TikTok. It’s a surprise move that comes after all Swift’s songs were removed from the social media platform earlier this year, along with other music from Universal Music Group (UMG).

TikTokkers are likely pleased, but the return of Swift’s songs brings up a lot of questions. It comes just before her highly anticipated album, The Tortured Poets Department, drops next week. Swift partnered with TikTok before the release of her previous album, Midnights, to supply a track reveal video for every track on the album exclusively to TikTok.

UMG did not immediately respond to Fast Company‘s request for more information about the return of Swift’s music.

While Swift’s music has returned to the platform—so far, without explanation—songs by other UMG-signed stars, including Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande, are still missing.

The decision to pull UMG’s entire catalog from TikTok has caused controversy in recent months. An announcement was made in January, but many TikTokkers discovered the move simply when they were attempting to add songs to their videos. At the time, UMG released an open letter calling for a “timeout on TikTok,” claiming that the platform does not fairly compensate artists for the use of their music.

“The terms of our relationship with TikTok are set by contract, which expires January 31, 2024,” the statement read. “In our contract renewal discussions, we have been pressing them on three critical issues—appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users . . . Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”

UMG and TikTok’s fight is perhaps unsurprising. TikTok has quickly become the single biggest platform for discovering new music, with songs often going viral on it. And as far as artists and their labels go, there’s a lot of money on the line.

It leaves fans wondering whether Swift’s team caved to the social media giant or reached a deal. But fans might also just “shake it off,” because now, they can happily add Tay Tay’s songs to their videos once more.


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