The landscape of your favorite social media platform has just changed overnight with the latest drama between TikTok and Universal Music Group.
Universal Music Group and TikTok Fail To Come To An Agreement
On January 31st, Universal Music Group and TikTok were due to come to an agreement regarding music licensing. According to UMG’s official statement, the label’s primary concerns outlined in their negotiation included appropriate compensation for music creators, protecting artists from the use of AI, and online safety for platform users. However, the two could not agree upon a compromise, flipping the app inside out overnight.
In a move remarked as greedy by TikTok, UMG has instead decided to pull all of its music from the platform. Now, popular artists like Taylor Swift, BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, Drake and many more have been scrubbed off TikTok completely. Going forward, artists cannot rely upon the app to promote their music. Moreover, any previous videos utilizing their sounds have now been muted due to “copyright infringement.” Now, the only permitted use of these artist’s music is via fan edits.
Read the official response from the social media platform below:
“It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.
Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.
TikTok has been able to reach ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universak’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters, and fans.”-TikTok’s official response to Universal Music Group
Artists Respond to New Social Media Landscape
From an artist’s perspective, the removal of their music from TikTok comes as a great shock. With this decision comes a flip on digital marketing strategies. This is especially true for rising stars like Noah Kahan, who have heavily utilized the platform to expand their audience. In response to the news, Kahan posted his own TikTok regarding his upcoming project Stick Season (Forever), due to release on February 9th:
Do you think this was a good move on UMG’s part? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.