Taylor Swift Is About to Launch the Biggest Bidding War in the Music Industry’s History

August 28, 2018, 2:31 PM UTC

When it comes to the music industry, there aren’t many stars bigger than Taylor Swift. For the past 13 years, though, she has been exclusively tied to Big Machine Records. In three months, she’s free to find a new label.

That’s likely to set off what could be a record bidding war among labels. Swift is one of a handful of performers who can reliably sell CDs and consistently sell out stadiums, along with Beyonce and Adele.

She’s also one of the industry’s shrewdest businesspeople. And Variety reports she and her team have already been talking with both Big Machine and other labels about her next deal. (Swift’s contact with Big Machine expires in November.)

Insiders tell Variety Swift could make as much as $20 million per album and retain the ownership rights to her master recordings as well. At present, Big Machine owns the rights to past masters and has been reticent to give those up.

Swift is a money-making phenomenon. The tour for her latest album, Reputation, earned $54 million in just six days—it’s forecast to make more than $400 million by the time it ends later this year.) And she has sold more than 37 million albums to date, with each release going platinum.

Beyond music, she has endorsement deals with a wide range of brands, including Apple, Diet Coke, Keds, and CoverGirl. Her return to music streaming service Spotify in 2017—after removing her songs from the streaming service—earned her $400,000 in one week and, even as fans were split on Reputation’s debut single, it quickly shot to the top of the Billboard charts. The album sold 1 million copies in four days upon its release.