July 24, 2024, 2:23 am

Universal Music to pull songs from TikTok

  • Update Time : Thursday, February 1, 2024
  • 69 Time View
Photo: Collected

Entertainment Desk:

Universal Music is set to pull its millions of songs from TikTok after a breakdown in talks over payments.

The move would mean the social media platform would no longer have access to songs by artists including Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and Drake.

Universal accused TikTok of “bullying” and said it wanted to pay a “fraction” of the rate other social media sites do for access to its vast catalogue.

TikTok said Universal was presenting a “false narrative and rhetoric”.

Music companies earn royalty payments when their songs are played on streaming and social media platforms.

Although TikTok – which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance – has more than one billion users, it accounts for just 1% of Universal’s total revenue, the label said.

In an “open letter to the artist and songwriter community” Universal – which controls about a third of the world’s music – claimed that “ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music”.

Universal also said that along with pushing for “appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters” it was also concerned about “protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users”.

The company said it would stop licensing its content to TikTok when its contract expires on 31 January.

In response, TikTok 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,” it added.

This is the first time that Universal has taken the major step of removing its songs from a technology firm’s platform.

In July last year, Warner Music, which is the world’s third biggest recorded music company, and TikTok struck a new licensing deal. Source BBC

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