Universal Music Group (UMG), who works with artists such as Taylor Swift, Lana del Rey, Drake, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and others, is threatening TikTok with remove songs from the platform if the Chinese company does not improve payment conditions. The record label has published an open letter warning that the contract with the social network ends this January, and that to renew it they have also been “pressing” on other issues.
One of the conditions that UMG requests, we reiterate, is a “adequate compensation” for artists and composers. While it’s unclear how much TikTok pays for the rights to songs distributed by Universal, the record label says the platform has been trying to negotiate with them “a rate that is a fraction of the rate that major social platforms pay with a situation similar”.
Universal Music Group also ensures that TikTok tried to intimidate them so that they would accept an agreement with a lower value than what they had previously, which is, furthermore, “less than the fair market value and which does not reflect their exponential growth,” they say. The label, specifically, claims that, as a form of intimidation, TikTok has been selectively removing songs from emerging artistswhile maintaining the most popular singers on the platform that would allow the social network to boost its audience.
On the other hand, UMG ensures that the income that comes from TikTok royalties for including the songs on the platform, They only represent 1% of total income of the company.
UGM says TikTok is sponsoring the replacement of artists with AI
In addition to better compensation for artists and songwriters, Universal Music Group has also asked TikTok “protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI”. UGM alleges that the social network has been promoting the use of AI-generated songs. Also, that it is “allowing the platform to be flooded” with tracks generated by artificial intelligence, from which the artists receive no compensation. The record label also highlights that TikTok “has been sponsoring the replacement of artists with AI.”
Lastly, UGM says that TikTok is not making efforts to remove infringing content of the music distributed under their label. They also claim that “it has not offered meaningful solutions to the growing wave of content adjacency problems, much less to the wave of hate speech, intolerance, bullying and harassment on the platform.” Universal Music Group also stresses that to report all of these issues, they must do so through a “monumentally cumbersome and inefficient” process.
UGM has threatened TikTok with delete songs from your artists if the platform does not meet these conditions, even knowing that this would also harm the user when creating videos or viewing content on the platform. At the moment, TikTok has not commented on the matter.