Universal Music Group‘s catalogue WILL be removed by TikTok from its service in the coming days starting tomorrow (January 31).
As a result, its full catalogue – including around 3 million recorded music tracks, and around 4 million songs whose publishing is represented by UMG – will no longer be legally cleared for use on TikTok.
UMG says that its attempts to negotiate a new license with TikTok collapsed after it pressed the ByteDance-owned service on “three critical issues”, including “appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users”.
UMG also alleged attempted bullying by TikTok.
“As our negotiations continued, TikTok attempted to bully us into accepting a deal worth less than the previous deal, far less than fair market value and not reflective of their exponential growth. How did it try to intimidate us? By selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars.”
In an official statement in response to UMG’s announcement, TikTok has said: “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, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.”