TikTok is removing even more music, argues UMG


TikTok is now falling all songs written or co-written by artists signed to Universal Music Group (UMG) as the platform’s battle over music rights drags on.

“We are in the process of complying with Universal Music Group’s requirement to remove all songs that have been written (or co-written) by a songwriter signed to Universal Music Publishing Group, based on the information they have provided,” TikTok writes in a statement on their website. “Their actions not only affect the songwriters and artists they represent, but they now also affect many artists and songwriters who are not signed to Universal.”

On Tuesday, Variety reported that TikTok was going to lose even more UMG songs, but it was unclear how many would be affected. This will also affect artists who are not signed to UMG but have publishing deals with the label, including Harry Styles, Steve Lacy and SZA, according to a report of Rolling Stone.

In early February, TikTok began removing songs from UMG’s most popular artists, including Taylor Swift, Drake and Olivia Rodrigo, after the two companies did not renew their music licensing agreement. UMG claims TikTok attempted to “bully” it into reaching an unfair settlement that did not address the label’s concerns about AI-generated music and artist compensation. The fallout has left many TikTok videos featuring UMG songs silent.

“We remain committed to achieving a equitable agreement with Universal Music Group,” says TikTok. “In the meantime, music lovers can continue to enjoy, discover and share millions of tracks from artists, songwriters and labels on TikTok, and we will continue to connect all artists. including those whose music is not currently available on our platform, with their fans.”

As TikTok creators struggle without access to songs from their favorite artists, YouTube is trying to woo short-form video creators with a new music video remix feature it launched earlier this month, which includes songs from the UMG catalogue.

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