UMG to pull Taylor Swift’s music from TikTok due to controversy

Universal Music Group, which represents artists including Taylor Swift, Drake, Adele, Bad Bunny and Billie Eilish, said , given that the licensing agreement between the two parties has expired, the company will no longer allow its music to appear on TikTok.

UMG said it has not yet agreed to the terms of the new agreement with TikTok and plans to stop licensing content to artists it represents on ByteDance’s social media platform and TikTok music service.

The licensing agreement between UMG and TikTok expired on Wednesday.

In a letter to artists and songwriters on Tuesday, UMG said it has been pressing TikTok on three issues: “Providing appropriate compensation to our artists and songwriters and protecting human artists from the harmful effects of artificial intelligence.” , and the online safety of TikTok users.

The fees TikTok proposes to pay its artists and songwriters are a fraction of what other major social platforms pay, UMG said, adding that TikTok only accounts for about 1% of its total revenue.

“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a business based on music without paying fair value for the music,” UMG said.

TikTok refuted UMG’s accusations, saying it has “artist first” agreements with all other labels and publishers.

“It’s clear that Universal’s selfish actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans,” TikTok said.

However, Universal Music also said that new technologies pose potential threats to artists and said that TikTok is developing tools to support, promote and encourage artificial intelligence music creation. UMG accuses the platform of “demanding a contractual right to allow such content to massively dilute human artists’ royalty pools, a move that amounts to sponsoring artificial intelligence to replace artists.”

UMG has also raised questions about what it calls TikTok security issues. UMG is not satisfied with TikTok’s efforts to address hate speech, bigotry, bullying and harassment. It said removing disturbing content from TikTok is an “extremely cumbersome and inefficient process, the digital equivalent of whack-a-mole.”

UMG said it recommended TikTok take similar measures to some other social media platform partners, but was met with initial indifference and then intimidation.

FILE - Bad Bunny speaks during the CinemaCon 2022 Sony Pictures Entertainment press conference in Las Vegas on April 25, 2022. And sued her, demanding at least $40 million in damages from the singer before she became famous.  (AP Photo/Chris Pizzero, File)

Bad Bunny speaks during a Sony Pictures Entertainment presentation at CinemaCon 2022 on April 25, 2022 in Las Vegas.

“As our negotiations continued, TikTok attempted to coerce us into accepting a deal that was worth less than our previous deal, was well below fair market value, and did not reflect its exponential growth,” UMG said. “How did it try to intimidate us? By selectively removing music from certain developing artists while retaining the global stars we attract audiences on the platform.

However, TikTok said Universal Music “puts its own greed ahead of the interests of artists and songwriters.”

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