It appears that TikTok and Universal Music are no longer in business since the latter plans to remove its back catalog from the platform. The two corporations’ agreement expires today, January 31, and discussions seem to have reached a deadlock. UMG wrote an ardent open letter to the songwriter and artist community, urging them to “call timeout on TikTok.” According to the letter, Universal Music appears to have been putting pressure on TikTok to address three main issues: paying artists and composers fairly, shielding human performers from the risks posed by artificial intelligence, and ensuring TikTok users’ safety online.
Universal Music Says TikTok Does Not Want To Pay Proper Market Value
According to Universal Music, TikTok only wanted to pay musicians a “quarter” of what several other platforms would pay. “In the end, TikTok wants to become a company that’s based on music,” stated Universal Music, “without giving the music’s proper market value.” The declaration said: “TikTok’s strategies are clear: exploit its massive following to harm artists in need of support and attempt to scare us into agreeing to a poor contract that devalues shortchanges and music musicians, songwriters, and their fans.” TikTok stated in response, calling it “It is disheartening and regrettable that UMG has prioritized its profits over the needs of its composers and artists.”
Only 1% of Universal Music’s income, the company responsible for producing at least a quarter of the world’s music, is derived from TikTok, an application with above one billion subscribers. Ariana Grande, Drake, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, and, The Weeknd are among the musicians signed to the record label. A representative for Universal confirmed to Reuters that the whole music repertoire will be promptly taken down from TikTok if today’s discussions fail. With notable achievements including a streaming service of its own, a concert series, and a chart created in association with Billboard within the last year, TikTok appears to be quickly taking over the music business. WGM and TikTok signed an extended agreement also last year.