Songs by artists under Universal Music Group (UMG) are disappearing from TikTok because the two sides couldn’t agree on a new deal for sharing content. Artists like Taylor Swift and Drake are no longer on TikTok as their licensing agreement with UMG ended on Wednesday.
UMG claims that TikTok is being a bit of a bully, accusing them of proposing low payment rates to artists and songwriters. UMG also alleges that TikTok is allowing the platform to be flooded with AI-generated recordings. TikTok fires back, saying UMG is more interested in money than the well-being of their artists and songwriters.
A spokesperson from UMG mentioned that since the licensing agreement ended, TikTok is now taking down the audio. And, indeed, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed that music from UMG has been removed.
TikTok has been a great platform for making songs, even older ones, go viral by featuring them in user videos. However, there’s been an ongoing debate about whether TikTok is paying artists enough for their music. UMG claims that only 1% of its total revenue comes from TikTok, despite the app’s huge user base, growing ad revenue, and increasing reliance on music content.