TikTok Risks Losing Popular Music from World’s Top Music Company
The social media giant, TikTok, could soon lose top chart hits from Universal Music Group (UMG), including tracks from Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and others. The dispute centers around issues like artist compensation and AI music creation.
TikTok and UMG’s agreement is on the verge of ending, which would result in popular music from UMG being purged from TikTok’s library. UMG, the leading music company on a global scale, accuses TikTok of trying to browbeat them into accepting an unworthy deal.
TikTok, owned by ByteDance, is a social media platform where users make short videos, often enhanced with sound effects and licensed music. UMG stands as a key player in the music industry, holding rights to songs from renowned artists like Drake, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and more.
The recent viral hit ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, a UMG artist, has gained traction on TikTok, with users recreating scenes from a 2023 film. However, if UMG and TikTok fail to settle on a deal, all UMG music will be withdrawn from the platform, a UMG spokesperson confirmed.
In an open letter, UMG detailed TikTok’s allegedly unfair treatment of artists, proposing to pay at a fraction of what other major social platforms do. They also accused TikTok of attempting to intimidate the company, undermining smaller artists in the process.
TikTok hit back, accusing UMG of prioritizing greed over the best interests of their artists and songwriters.
As TikTok experiments more with AI music creation, UMG criticized its approach. The music company voiced concerns about the influx of AI-generated music and the ineffective process of removing infringing content. With TikTok’s similar agreements with Sony and Warner Music up for renegotiation, the outcome with UMG could offer a glimpse into TikTok’s future dealings with music giants.
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