iHeart Radio, the network behind 850 stations, swooned Swifties when it vowed to only play the recently re-recorded versions of Taylor Swift’s biggest hits, though recent data reportedly shows that the radio has failed to keep its promise.
iHeart has played the original version of a Swift tune at least 626 times despite a “Taylor’s Version” being available — and 507 times since the network announced its pledge to support the 34-year-old’s re-released discography, according to Business Insider, which cited radio airplay data from six iHeart stations in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
iHeart has wavered on its commitment to playing only “Taylor’s Version” songs since it made the pledge in November 2021, when its CEO Tom Poleman said in a press release at the time that “whenever Taylor re-records a new track, we immediately replace the old versions.”
Swift began releasing “Taylor’s Version” of her popular albums back in 2021 to regain control of her musical catalog after a year-long public feud with music manager Scooter Braun, who bought the master recordings of Swift’s first six albums along with her former label, Big Machine Records, in 2019.
Following the sale, Swift claimed that Braun had banned her from performing songs from her back catalog, which he owned until November 2020.
To combat Braun’s reacquisition of her music, the songstress announced plans to re-record all of 14 of her albums.
In a display of support for the star, iHeart said it would only broadcast “Taylor’s Version” songs — which the superstar said in a 2022 interview was “so heartwarming to me.”
iHeart was committed to its promise in the weeks following its press release, according to BI.
In the two months following Swift’s most re-recording of “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which came out in October 2023, iHeart hasn’t been so devoted.
According to data from the six stations in major US cities, the radio behemoth played original versions of Swift’s songs an average of three times a day, according to BI.
However, those half-dozen radio stations are just a fraction of iHeart’s 850-station empire, which includes more than 100 Top 40 and pop stations, as well as an adult contemporary station that’s also known to play Swift’s songs, BI reported.
This means the true number of non-“Taylor’s Version” tracks played by iHeart stations is likely much higher, per BI.
iHeart’s chief communications officer Wendy Goldberg insisted to BI that “we’ve played Taylor’s Version songs millions of times across our broadcast radio stations and they’re committed to ensuring that Taylor’s Version songs are the only ones we play, so they are scrubbing through our system and doing another thorough sweep to remove any incorrect versions.”
Representatives for iHeart Radio did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Swift has since released “Taylor’s Version” of all but two albums in her discography — “Reputation” and her debut album released in 2006, “Taylor Swift.”