UMG Threatens to Pull Entire Catalog From TikTok Citing Concerns Over Compensation, AI And Safety  

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Universal Music Group says their artists’ music will no longer be available on TikTok after failing to renegotiate their contract with the social media platform. 


The deal is set to expire within hours, with UMG revealing the contract ends today, Wednesday, January 31.  

A UMG spokesman told Reuters all of its music will be pulled from TikTok if they fail to reach an agreement. 

This would include songs from some of the world’s biggest artists, including Drake, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Eminem, The Beatles, Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, SZA and many more.  

UMG published a scathing open letter titled “Why we must call Time Out on TikTok” on Tuesday, accusing TikTok of attempting to “bully us into accepting a deal worth less than the previous deal.”  

In addition, UMG says TikTok employs “obvious” tactics to “hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal.”  

UMG cites several reasons for the breakdown in negotiations. According to UMG, TikTok failed to adequately address concerns “on three critical issues—appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters, protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI, and online safety for TikTok’s users.” 

They claim TikTok “proposed paying our artists and songwriters” a “fraction” of what other major platforms pay.  

UMG also claimed TikTok attempted to “intimidate” them during contract negotiations “by selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars.” 

In their response to UMG, TikTok claims UMG “has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.”  

TikTok says they reached “’artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher,” and accused UMG of acting outside “the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.”