Universal Music Group Pulls Artists’ Music from TikTok as Licensing Agreement Ends

It’s official: as of today, Universal Music Group has removed their artists’ music from the platform

Prepare for a silent TikTok experience as Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest record label, withdraws its artists’ music from the popular video-sharing app. The licensing agreement between UMG and TikTok expired on January 31, leading to a disagreement on terms for a new deal.

Effective immediately, TikTok videos featuring UMG-owned music will be muted, leaving users to seek alternatives for tracks from notable artists such as Billie Eilish, Drake, Harry Styles, and The Beatles. Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has revolutionized the music industry, serving as a crucial promotional tool for artists and labels. Trending songs on TikTok often make their way to the Billboard 100 or Spotify Viral 50, as reported by Business Insider in 2022. The platform’s Music Impact Report from the previous year highlighted TikTok users’ increased likelihood of discovering and sharing new music compared to other short-form video platforms (SFV). However, TikTok’s dominance has sparked controversy, with instances of the platform directly engaging artists with deals, bypassing traditional record label channels.

This significant change on one of the world’s largest social media platforms prompts a closer look at the unfolding dynamics between TikTok and UMG.

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