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The music landscape on TikTok is facing uncertainty as Universal Music Group (UMG) threatens to remove tracks from artists such as Taylor Swift, Drake, SZA, and more.
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With an estimated 1.5 billion monthly users, TikTok has become a significant platform for sharing music from major record label catalogs. However, UMG released a statement asserting its intention to pull tracks due to a lack of compensation for artists and songwriters. This move could have substantial repercussions for TikTok’s vast user base, where approximately 60% of videos feature music.
In response to UMG’s statement, TikTok fired back with a scathing reply, accusing the music company of prioritizing “their own greed above the interests of artists and songwriters.” The social media giant argued that UMG proposed a payment rate significantly lower than what other major social platforms offer to similarly situated artists. TikTok emphasized its role in introducing emerging artists to a global audience and expressed disappointment in UMG’s stance.
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UMG, one of the “Big Three” global music companies, highlighted TikTok’s minimal contribution to its advertising revenue, accounting for only 1%. Despite this, UMG artists were among the most popular on the platform. The Dutch-American-owned company, representing legendary artists such as The Beatles and Ariana Grande, expressed concerns about TikTok’s use of artificial intelligence tools and the platform’s impact on intellectual property. UMG also raised issues related to copyright infringement and the prevalence of hate speech on TikTok.
As negotiations between UMG and TikTok unfolded, UMG accused TikTok of attempting to strong-arm them into an unfavorable deal. The music company claimed that TikTok selectively removed the music of developing artists while preserving that of established global stars. These allegations add a layer of complexity to the dispute, raising questions about the dynamics between major music labels and social media platforms in the digital age.
Drake, SZA, Taylor Swift, And Other Artists’ Music May Be Pulled From Tiktok After Its Deal With Universal Music Group Expires
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