Universal Music to pull its tracks from TikTok

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In a move that may affect TikTok, especially in terms of its relationship with content creators, Universal Music is pulling its tracks from the platform.

This follows a breakdown in negotiations over usage rights between TikTok and Universal Music Group. The major record label declared that, as of February 1st, it will pull its music from TikTok.

Universal Music remains home to some of the biggest artists in the music industry, and its decision to stop licensing content to TikTok and TikTok Music services will significantly affect the app.

Billie Eilish, Drake, Adele, and Taylor Swift are just a few of the artists that are signed to the label. According to Universal Music, TikTok fell short of its expectations in terms of artist compensation and safeguards regarding its use of generative AI.

The previous agreement, which terminated on January 31st, was originally signed in 2021. This means that content from all artists under the label will no longer be available on TikTok until there is a change in the current impasse.

“[Universal and TikTok] have not agreed to terms for a new agreement, and upon expiration of the current agreement, Universal Music Group, including Universal Music Publishing Group, will cease licensing content to TikTok and TikTok Music services,” a statement by Universal Music explained.

Universal Music further explained in a statement that TikTok “attempted to bully” the company into accepting a deal that was below the previous agreement:

As our negotiations continued, TikTok attempted to bully us into accepting a deal worth less than the previous deal, far less than fair market value and not reflective of their exponential growth. How did it try to intimidate us? By selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars. TikTok’s tactics are obvious: use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans.”

In response, TikTok has said that it is disappointed that Universal Music walked away from a “free promotional and discovery vehicle” for its artists.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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