As of February 1st, Universal Music Group has begun removing its tracks from TikTok after negotiations for a new rights agreement failed, ending their current deal.
That means music from artists like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Bad Bunny will no longer be available for TikTok’s users. This change marks a huge blow for a platform whose trends often revolve around popular music.
follow my inst: @suzieszv, I will post more dance videos there
According to Universal, the disagreement mostly comes down to compensation.
In a statement released at the end of January, Universal highlighted TikTok’s “massive and growing user base” and “increasing reliance on music-based content,” saying, “Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”
TikTok has expressed disappointment in Universal’s decision, citing its role as a promotional platform for artists.
— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) January 31, 2024
Some users are already making TikToks about the limited music selection now available. But brands with business accounts likely won’t notice a change.
That’s because TikTok business accounts already don’t have access to most songs by well-known artists. This practice protects brands and musicians from potential copyright issues that could arise if a song is used in an ad.
For influencers and creators, though, the standoff between TikTok and Universal may lead to some very…interesting content.
Past licensing disagreements between labels and social platforms have lasted anywhere from a few days to months. Most experts predict this stalemate will likely be a blip, though, especially with TikTok’s creators and influencers putting the pressure on.