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UMG vs. TikTok

UMG+vs.+TikTok

Universal Music Group (or UMG for short) has cut their ties with TikTok removing every artist that is licensed to UMG. Many artists include Taylor Swift, BTS, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, and many more artists. 

UMG started the removal process somewhere near January 31, 2024, because the terms of their relationship with TikTok were set by contract, which expired January 31, 2024.

 In their contract renewal discussions, Universal Music Group had been pressing TikTok on three critical issues which included, appropriate compensation for their artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users. With respect to the issue of artist and songwriter compensation, TikTok proposed paying UMG artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay.  

Today, as an indication of how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue and increasing reliance on music-based content, TikTok accounts for only about 1% of UMG’s total revenue. Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.

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UMG states that TikTok is allowing their platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings as well as developing tools to enable, promote and encourage AI music creation on the platform itself. Then demanding a contractual right which would allow this content to massively dilute the royalty pool for human artists, in a move that is nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by AI. 

UMG seems to be very unhappy with how Tikok is treating UMG’s licensed artists and how they’re not acknowledging UMG’s concerns for harmful effects of AI, online safety for TikTok users, and Appropriate compensation for their artist. And because of this UMG pulled themselves and their music artist off the app of TikTok. 

UMG stated that they will always fight for their artists and songwriters and stand up for the creative and commercial value of music. So it seems until TikTok will listen and acknowledge what UMG wants for both their artists and for the people on tik tok they will not be helping to support the app. 

 

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About the Contributor
Niyla Moore, Staff Reporter
Niyla Moore has only recently joined the rampage, making this her first official year on the team. She spends a lot of her time playing video games and watching TV series. Niyla takes much interest in writing and hopes to broaden her skills and even turn her writing skills into a career. She loves to make friends of similar interests and she is also in the Hillcrest marching band and DND club.  If you ever see her in the hallways don't be afraid to shout and wave!

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