Why has Universal Music removed its songs from TikTok?

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On February 1st 2024 TikTok creators and fans woke up to their favourite videos muted, but what lead to this?

The Universal Music Group (UMG) previously had a contract with TikTok that allowed them to use artists’ music but this contract was up for review and expired on the 31st of January.

UMG posted a statement on their website saying that during these discussions over a new deal they had three critical issues that they needed to address.

A statement read: ‘ 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.’

The music giant bosses has said that part of TikTok’s rapid growing platform is due to their artists’ music and they are not getting enough royalties.

To put it in perspective they have said that TikTok is only 1% of their revenue despite the amount of material on the social media platform from their performers.

So music from big artists like Taylor Swift, Noah Khan and SZA have been removed.

Because of this deal most creators woke up on the 1st February with their videos muted and struggling to find a replacement song with the minimal options that are left.

The editors community of TikTok have dealt with this in a very creative way.

When they found out that the edits they worked hard on were muted they started looking for other audios.

https://www.tiktok.com/@zaxsaeq/video/7331121924447210794

Instead of fitting songs these editors have now resorted to using the Kahoot music.

TikTok also posted a statement saying that the UMG is putting its own greed above the interests of their artists and creating a false narrative.

The Chinese company said that it had been able to secure similar deals with other company’s with no problem adding: ‘Clearly, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.’

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like these two companies will be collaborating together again anytime soon.

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One thought on “Why has Universal Music removed its songs from TikTok?

  1. A very informative piece, explaining the situation on the social media platform TikTok very well, nicely written and clear

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