Universal Music Group plans to pull song catalog from TikTok

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Universal Music Group (UMG), the label representing artists including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Ariana Grande, says that it’ll pull its music from TikTok tomorrow at midnight after failing to reach a deal with the platform’s parent company, ByteDance, over royalties.

UMG won’t seek to renew its current arrangement with TikTok, set to expire on January 31, and plans to cease licensing content to both TikTok and its music-focused platform, TikTok Music.

In a press release, UMG accused TikTok of trying to build a “music-based business without paying fair value for [artists’] music.”

“TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay,” the label wrote. “Today, as an indication of how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue and increasing reliance on music-based content, TikTok accounts for only about 1% of our total revenue.”

TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The way UMG tells it in the press release, it and TikTok didn’t see eye to eye on payments for AI-generated recordings using UMG properties. In addition, TikTok wasn’t take appropriate steps to remove content in violation of UMG’s copyright, UMG says.

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

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