Universal Music To Pull Music From Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and More On TikTok After Failing To Reach A Deal

Universal Music Group (UMG), a global music powerhouse, has announced its decision to cease licensing content to TikTok, citing unresolved issues in their contract renewal discussions. 

The current contract ends on January 31, and it has not been renewed due to disagreements over artist compensation and concerns regarding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) on the platform.

UMG, which represents a roster of renowned artists including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, and Elton John, expressed dissatisfaction with TikTok’s proposed payment terms. 

According to UMG, the offer from TikTok was substantially lower than the rates paid by similar major social platforms, contributing to just about 1% of UMG’s total revenue despite TikTok’s vast user base and rising advertising income. 

“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music,” UMG said in an open letter.

Another point of contention was the use of AI on TikTok. UMG accused TikTok of promoting AI-generated music, which they believe could dilute royalty pools and replace human artists. 

Additionally, UMG raised concerns about online safety on TikTok, including issues like hate speech and content infringement. They claim that TikTok’s response to these issues has been inadequate, citing the platform’s failure to effectively address problematic content and its alleged intimidation tactics during negotiations.

In response, TikTok expressed disappointment with UMG’s decision, suggesting that UMG prioritized its own financial interests over those of artists and songwriters. 

“It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters. Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.”

Related: TikTok Wants Your iPhone Passcode and It’s Not Saying Why

“TikTok has been able to reach ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.”

This disagreement marks a shift from the previously celebrated global agreement between UMG and TikTok in February 2021, which was hailed for providing equitable compensation and promoting innovative experiences.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply