Universal Music is set to pull its songs from TikTok from Mashable

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The partnership between Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok has apparently soured, as the music company is set to pull its music catalogue from the social media app.

The agreement between the two companies is set to expire today (Jan. 31), and negotiations appear to have come to a standstill. UMG published an impassioned open letter addressed to the artist and songwriter community, saying they must “call time on TikTok.” The letter explained that UMG has been pressing TikTok on three key issues: appropriate compensation for artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the dangers of AI, and online safety for TikTok users.


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UMG said that TikTok wanted to pay their artists at a rate that is just a “fraction” of what other platforms offer. “Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business,” said Universal, “without paying fair value for the music.” The statement read:

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 released their own statement, declaring it “sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.” The letter from the tech company also labelled Universal’s narrative as “false” and pointed out that they have been able to negotiate ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher.”

Universal, which is behind a third of the world’s music, has said that only 1 percent of their revenue comes from TikTok, a platform with over a billion users. The music company’s roster of artists includes Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, The Weeknd and Drake.

If negotiations fail to go through today, Universal’s entire music catalogue will be removed from TikTok immediately, a spokesperson confirmed to Reuters.

TikTok’s seeming takeover of the music industry has been swift, with milestones like its own streaming service, a music festival, and a chart in collaboration with Billboard, all in the past year. Also last year, Warner Music Group inked an expanded deal with TikTok.

The post Universal Music is set to pull its songs from TikTok from Mashable appeared first on Tom Bettenhausen’s.

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