Universal Music Group (UMG), the label that represents artists including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande, said it will pull its music from TikTok at midnight tomorrow after failing to reach a deal with the platform's parent company ByteDance. Royalties.
UMG will not seek to renew its current arrangement with TikTok, which expires on January 31, and plans to stop licensing content to both TikTok and its music-focused platform, TikTok Music.
In the press release, UMG accused TikTok of trying to build a music-based business without paying “fair value for (artists') music.”
“TikTok offers to pay our artists and songwriters at a fraction of the rate the major social platforms pay,” the label wrote. “Today, despite how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, its huge and growing user base, rapidly growing advertising revenue, and reliance on music-based content, TikTok only accounts for 1% of our total revenue.”
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As UMG said in the press release, it and TikTok do not see eye-to-eye on payments for AI-generated recordings using UMG properties. In addition, UMG said TikTok did not take adequate steps to remove content that infringed UMG's copyright.
“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business without paying fair value for music,” UMG wrote.
UMG's current deal with TikTok dates to 2021 and covers recorded music from artists on UMG's labels and songwriters affiliated with Universal Music Publishing Group. As part of the deal, UMG and TikTok have agreed to experiment with new features such as allowing users to embed clips from UMG's entire music catalog, including Bad Bunny, SZA, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber, Adele, U2, and more. And Elton John.
The UMG deal fell apart as TikTok became more focused on music creation.
The platform launched TikTok Music in select countries last year, making it a serious Spotify and Apple Music rival. Meanwhile, TikTok is testing an “AI Song” feature that uses AI to create songs based on prompts users enter.