TikTok Faces Loss Of Songs In Dispute With Universal Music Group


TikTok, the popular social media platform, is set to lose a significant number of songs due to its ongoing dispute with Universal Music Group (UMG). The conflict arose when UMG failed to reach a royalty agreement with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. As a result, TikTok has been compelled to remove songs owned or distributed by UMG, and now faces further challenges as it must also eliminate songs containing compositions controlled by Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).

Key Takeaway

TikTok is in the midst of a dispute with Universal Music Group, leading to the removal of songs owned or distributed by UMG, as well as compositions controlled by Universal Music Publishing Group. This development has significant implications for artists, songwriters, and the music industry as a whole.

Impact on Song Removal

TikTok is mandated to remove all songs written or co-written by UMPG-affiliated songwriters, with affected videos being muted while remaining on the platform. This move is significant, as UMG and UMPG’s combined catalog represents a substantial 20-30% of popular songs on TikTok. The requirement to remove songs involving UMPG-affiliated songwriters, even if they have contributed only a small part to a song owned by another label, further complicates the situation.

Legal Compliance and Implications

To adhere to legal requirements and remove UMPG-licensed content by the end of February, TikTok has initiated the process of eliminating these songs. This development not only impacts UMG’s own artists and songwriters, but also affects artists signed to other labels. The platform’s actions may have significant repercussions for artists and songwriters, as they will no longer be able to promote their music on TikTok, a prominent platform for music discovery.

Response from UMG and TikTok

UMG, in an open letter to artists and songwriters, accused TikTok of seeking an unfair deal, while TikTok responded by expressing disappointment in UMG’s actions, stating that the company prioritized its own interests over those of its artists and songwriters. Despite UMG’s assertion that the changes will not impact its revenue, the move will undoubtedly affect the artists and songwriters associated with the label.

Impact on Artists and Songwriters

Artists and songwriters will face the loss of royalties earned from their music on TikTok, and the inability to leverage one of the most popular social platforms for promoting their work. UMG acknowledges these consequences but emphasizes its commitment to securing a new agreement that appropriately compensates its artists for their work.

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