February 22, 2024

Universal Music Group has issued a warning stating that it intends to remove its songs from TikTok due to a breakdown in negotiations with the popular social media platform. The discussions primarily revolved around matters concerning the fair compensation of artists and songwriters, reports AFP.

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Universal has recently addressed TikTok in a public letter, accusing the platform of attempting to establish a music-focused enterprise without adequately compensating for the music it utilizes.

The two parties have been engaged in negotiations to establish the terms of a new agreement, as their current contract is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday. However, the agreement has not been extended or renewed at this point.

During the discussions, various matters were brought up, including the need for “adequate remuneration” for artists and songwriters, ensuring online safety for users, and safeguarding artists from the potential negative impacts of artificial intelligence, as stated in the letter.

However, as the negotiations progressed, Universal expressed their dissatisfaction, stating that TikTok tried to coerce them into accepting a deal that was significantly lower in value compared to the previous agreement. Universal believed that the proposed deal did not fairly reflect the market value and failed to acknowledge TikTok’s substantial growth.

It is worth noting that major music companies receive royalty payments from streaming and social media platforms, which contribute to their overall earnings.

Universal, a prominent player in the industry, expressed that TikTok has proposed a payment rate that is significantly lower than what other major social platforms offer.

Despite TikTok’s extensive user base, it contributes only a mere one percent to Universal’s overall revenue. Universal also highlighted additional concerns, such as the prevalence of AI-generated content on the platform and a perceived lack of effort in addressing copyright infringements on artists’ music.

Notably, Universal represents renowned artists like Taylor Swift and The Weeknd. TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, remains one of the most widely used social media platforms worldwide, boasting over one billion users.

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