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Monday, March 4, 2024

Universal Music removes popular songs from TikTok

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You might not be dancing to your favourite hit songs on TikTok for much longer. Universal Music Group, one of the largest music companies in the world, has failed to reach a new agreement with the popular social media platform after its current agreement expired on 31 January 2024. As a result, UMG can remove its music from the platform.


“The companies 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,” the company said in a statement.


Artists on Universal Music Group labels include Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Sting, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, SZA, Steve Lacy, Drake, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Adele, U2, Elton John, J Balvin, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan and Post Malone.


In an open letter on the UMG website, the company shared the key issues discussed and revealed TikTok’s negative actions towards the music group.


“In our contract renewal discussions, we have been pressing them on three critical issues—appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users…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.”


UMG maintains it will fight to protect its artists and stand up for the creative and commercial value of music. As TikTok accounts for only 1% of UMG’s revenue, the company does not feel much damage but the negative relationship could still prove to be a blow for TikTok, who have long benefitted from the advantages of Universal Music’s hitmakers.

Danielle Mentoor
Danielle Mentoor
Danielle is Smile FM's PM drive news reader. She has been in the radio industry since 2020 and started her career at a community radio station. When she's not keeping you up to date with the latest news, she's exploring the outdoors.

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