Taylor Swift is in a brand-new relationship. No, she isn't dating some hot Hollywood star. Instead, Swift's label, Big Machine Records, has just inked a deal with Clear Channel that will allow artists on the label to get paid for songs played on their radio stations.
The label, as well as the performers on it — including heavy hitters like Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Reba McEntire — will share the revenue with Clear Channel. Before this deal, the label and its performers did not collect royalties when their songs were played on terrestrial radio; only songwriters and publishers did.
Internet radio stations, however, already do pay performers and labels when their songs are played. Under the new deal, Clear Channel will be able to limit payments for songs streamed online, which will enable the growth of digital radio.
"Not only does this partnership enable Big Machine to participate in terrestrial broadcast revenues, but we are also helping to grow digital radio," Scott Borchetta, the label's president and CEO, said. "[It's] a great opportunity for all of us and a breakthrough opportunity for Big Machine artists."
But reportedly, it won't end there. Aceshowbiz.com further reports that Clear Channel will approach more labels for similar deals and Big Machine may ink more of these with other radio conglomerates.
"Today, 98 percent of our listening is terrestrial broadcast and 2 percent digital — with record labels and artists only paid for the 2 percent," John Hogan, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, added in a statement about the landmark deal. "This new agreement expands label and artist participation from just digital to terrestrial broadcast radio revenue in one comprehensive framework that will give all of us a great incentive to drive the growth of the digital radio industry and allow everyone to participate financially in its growth."
This coup for Swift comes just months after she was named the top earner of 2012 by Billboard magazine on their "Music's Top 40 Money Makers" list. Swift sits at #1 thanks to reported earnings of $35.7 million in the 2011 calendar year. She ranks so high due to quadruple-platinum-plus sales of Speak Now and its accompanying tour, which grossed $88.5 million in the U.S. alone.
But she's hardly resting on her laurels. She is currently hard at work on her follow-up to the release. There is no word yet on when it might drop.