Universal Music to remove songs from TikTok


Universal Music is planning to remove its songs from the popular social media platform TikTok due to a breakdown in negotiations over payments. This means that TikTok users will no longer have access to music by artists such as Taylor Swift, the Weeknd, and Drake. Universal accused TikTok of “bullying” and stated that it wanted to pay a lower rate than other social media sites for access to its extensive catalog. TikTok responded by calling Universal’s claims a “false narrative and rhetoric.” While TikTok has over one billion users, it only accounts for 1% of Universal’s total revenue. Universal, which controls about a third of the world’s music, stated in an open letter that it was concerned about fair compensation for its artists and songwriters, as well as protecting them from the harmful effects of AI and ensuring online safety for TikTok users. The company announced that it would stop licensing its content to TikTok when their contract expires at the end of January. In response, TikTok criticized Universal for prioritizing greed over the interests of its artists and songwriters. This is the first time that Universal has removed its songs from a technology platform. Universal is a major player in the global recorded music industry and holds the rights to a wide range of artists. Warner Music, the world’s third-largest recorded music company, reached a new licensing deal with TikTok in July 2020.

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