TikTok and UMG removes music by Taylor Swift and The Weekend

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TikTok has pulled music by celebrities including Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and Olivia Rodrigo from videos after a dispute with their record label, Universal Music Group (UMG).
TikTok has pulled music by celebrities including Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and Olivia Rodrigo from videos after a dispute with their record label, Universal Music Group (UMG).

TikTok has pulled music by celebrities including Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and Olivia Rodrigo from videos after a dispute with their record label, Universal Music Group (UMG).

Introduction:

TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG) have been unable to reach a new licensing agreement, leading to the expiration of their previous deal. UMG accuses TikTok of wanting to pay a significantly lower rate compared to other social media platforms for access to its songs. 

As a consequence, all videos featuring UMG music on TikTok will be muted, and users will be unable to create new videos using those tracks. Some artists, including Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Billie Eilish, have experienced the removal of most of their music from TikTok.

Dispute Details:

The licensing agreement between TikTok and UMG expired, and negotiations for a new deal were unsuccessful. 

UMG alleges that TikTok sought to pay only a fraction of the rate charged by other social media sites for access to UMG’s songs. TikTok, in response, accuses UMG of presenting a “false narrative and rhetoric” in the ongoing dispute.

Impact on Artists and Users:

Videos featuring UMG music on TikTok will be muted, affecting the user experience for millions of TikTok users. 

Artists, including Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and Billie Eilish, have seen most of their music disappear from their official TikTok pages. 

Additionally, new videos featuring UMG music cannot be created on the platform. Some artists have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the situation.

Artist Reactions:

Noah Kahan, whose song “Stick Season” gained popularity on TikTok, expressed his inability to promote his new song on the platform due to the licensing dispute. 

Cody Fry, an artist signed to a UMG-owned record label, described the situation as feeling “like a person standing between two colliding planets” as reports about the licensing agreement expiration coincided with one of his tracks going viral in China.

Conclusion:

The failure to renew the licensing agreement between TikTok and UMG has immediate consequences for both the platform and artists associated with UMG. 

The removal of UMG music from TikTok impacts the creative expression of users and limits the promotional opportunities for artists. 

The dispute highlights the ongoing challenges in negotiating fair compensation for music usage on digital platforms, with both TikTok and UMG presenting their perspectives on the matter. The outcome of this dispute may have implications for future licensing negotiations between music labels and social media platforms.

Gary Monroe

Gary Monroe is a seasoned contributor to the Los Angeles Business Magazine, where he offers insightful analysis on local business trends and economic developments. With a focus on Los Angeles' dynamic commercial landscape, Gary's articles provide valuable perspectives for entrepreneurs and business professionals in the city.

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