UMG Threatens TikTok Pullout Over Artist Pay, AI Concerns

Universal Music Group says it will pull its entire music catalog from TikTok when its contract expires on Jan. 31, 2024, accusing TikTok of not fairly compensating artists and attempting to undermine the value of music through AI-generated content.


  • UMG's catalog includes megastars like Taylor Swift, BTS, Drake, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, and more.

  • UMG claims TikTok offered to pay its artists and songwriters at a fraction of the rate other major social platforms pay.

  • UMG is also concerned about TikTok promoting AI music creation while not properly compensating human artists.

  • The company says TikTok responded to its demands with "indifference, and then intimidation", including selectively removing music from some UMG artists.

  • UMG says it has a duty to fight for fair compensation for its artists and will not back down from those responsibilities due to intimidation tactics.

  • TikTok claims UMG is putting "greed above the interests of their artists" and says UMG chose to walk away from TikTok's "powerful support".

  • If UMG pulls its catalog, it would represent about 1% of UMG's total revenue, but a significant loss for TikTok.

  • This follows previous tensions between TikTok and the music industry over proper copyright licensing.


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