The world’s biggest music company, Universal Music Group, has started pulling its music off TikTok, following a breakdown in talks between the two companies.
Universal is set to take its full music catalogue, including around 3 million recorded music tracks, off the platform as it struggles to negotiate a new licensing agreement.
If the two companies fail to reach a new agreement, artists including Drake, Sza, J.Cole and Taylor Swift could be removed from the platform.
In a blistering open letter published earlier this week, Universal accused TikTok of intimidation.
The two companies are failing to see eye to eye on issues, including artist compensation and the use of artificial intelligence.
Our core mission is simple: to help our artists & songwriters attain their greatest creative and commercial potential, which is why we must call time out on TikTok.— Universal Music Group (@UMG) January 31, 2024
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The world’s leading music company also accused the social media firm of trying to “bully” it into a bad deal.
While Universal Music has accused TikTok of failing to fairly compensate artists, TikTok has argued that its over one billion users serve as a free promotional vehicle for new and up-and-coming talent.
In a similarly scathing response, TikTok has clapped back, accusing UMG of “greed” and putting its own interests “above the interests of their artists and songwriters.”
Written by: Naomi Kobbie