Universal Music Group—the world's largest music company representing artists including Taylor Swift, Drake, Adele, and BTS—has announced it will no longer license music to social video platform TikTok.
The news comes as TikTok and UMG, which commands a third of the global music market, failed to reach new terms of a music licensing agreement after their previous contract expired yesterday. Sticking points included fair compensation for UMG's artists and songwriters, protection from AI-generated content, and concerns over infringement and safety issues. UMG claimed TikTok, which accounts for roughly 1% of its revenue, presented a new deal worth less than the previous one and lower than fair market value. UMG also claimed TikTok's approach to AI-generated music would dilute royalties for human artists and songwriters. Read UMG's open letter here.
Roughly 60% of TikTok content features music, helping to drive discoverability and sometimes pushing songs to the top of the charts. Without a deal in place, TikTok will be forced to pull roughly 4 million songs associated with UMG from its platform, and users will no longer be able to use those songs.