April 16, 2024

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Universal Music Group pulls songs from TikTok

Universal Music Group pulls songs from TikTok

Videos on TikTok went silent early Thursday, after combative licensing negotiations collapsed this week between the popular social media platform and Universal Music Group, the giant company that releases music from artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, U2 and Ariana Grande.

On Tuesday, one day before its licensing contract with TikTok expires, Universal — the largest of the Big Three record labels — published a statement A fiery open letter Accusing TikTok of offering unsatisfactory wages for music, and allowing its platform to be “flooded with AI-generated recordings” that diluted the pool of royalties for real human musicians.

TikTok confirmed early Thursday that it had removed music from Universal, and videos on the app began to show the effects of the broken partnership. Universal artists' recordings have been deleted from the TikTok library, and existing videos using Universal artists' music have been completely muted. Global songs were also not available for users to add to new videos.

a Video posted by Kylie Jenner In September, for example, a song by Lana Del Rey, who is signed to Universal, was used with a note saying: “This audio is not available.” (Video commentators commented on the music.) Other videos carried similar phrases, including “Audio removed due to copyright restrictions.”

When users navigated to the official profiles of Universal artists like Swift and Grande — who are set to release a new album next month — tabs that normally display dozens of tracks that users can add to their own were either completely bare or reduced to a handful of brief snippets. .

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The extent of the ramifications was not clear on Thursday, and the spokeswoman did not provide an estimate of the number of videos that would be affected by the change. On Thursday morning, some videos using global recordings appeared to be unaffected.

TikTok, where users upload short videos, often with music in the background, is a vital promotional arena for the music industry. Viral music-based memes on TikTok can make a song a hit or revive a decades-old classic, as happened in 2020 with Fleetwood Mac's 1977 song “Dreams”. Universal's struggle with the platform is the latest manifestation of a media conflict that has erupted repeatedly over the past two decades, pitting tech company innovations against the music industry's demands for control and compensation.

In response to Universal, TikTok on Tuesday Accused The music company said in a statement that it was putting its “greed above the interests of its artists and songwriters,” and said Universal had “chosen to walk away from aggressively supporting a platform with more than a billion users that functions as a free service.” A promotional and discovery vehicle for their talents.”

On Thursday, representatives of Universal and TikTok refused to make any new statements about their negotiations or the withdrawal of music from the platform.

Universal's withdrawal was interpreted in the music industry as everything but Declaration of war Against one of the most influential online outlets in the world, even though brands have limited control over it.

Contentious contract talks, and even public vitriol, are part of the standard terrain when it comes to major music companies and tech platforms negotiating the all-important content licenses that allow those platforms to host music. But it's rare for a music company to respond to threats to remove its content. It happened in 2008, when Warner Music pulled thousands of music videos from YouTube; The standoff lasted nine months, and Warner put the videos back on YouTube It agreed to share advertising revenue With label.

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