TikTok has removed music from global stars, including Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and Olivia Rodrigo and African Artists like Stonebwoy and Mr. Eazi due to a dispute with their record label, Universal Music Group (UMG).
The clash emerged after a licensing agreement between TikTok and UMG expired, with negotiations for a new deal falling through.
UMG alleges that TikTok sought to pay a lower rate compared to other social media platforms for access to its vast music catalog. Consequently, TikTok has muted all videos featuring UMG music, and users can no longer create new content with tracks from these artists.
Well-known artists like Ariana Grande and Katy Perry have seen most of their music vanish from their official TikTok pages, leaving only a few songs from different labels.
The disagreement revolves around royalty payments, with music companies and artists earning revenue when their songs are used on streaming and social media platforms. UMG accused TikTok of attempting to build a music-based business without offering fair compensation for the music. The record label also expressed concerns about ensuring artists receive proper payment for AI-generated songs imitating real artists.
In response, TikTok accused UMG of prioritizing greed over the interests of their artists and songwriters. Despite Universal’s claims about TikTok’s content moderation issues, the platform defended itself, emphasizing its role as a powerful promotional and discovery tool for talent.
By : Fiagbe Zenas
Source : New York Times, BBC News, Pulse Ghana