Universal Music to pull songs from TikTok

By: Mobin

Universal Music accused TikTok of "bullying" and wanting to pay a "fraction" of what other platforms pay to license its vast music catalog.


The move means TikTok would lose access to hits from Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Drake and other top artists signed to Universal. 


Music companies earn royalties when songs are played on streaming platforms. Though TikTok has over 1 billion users, it accounts for just 1% of Universal's total revenue.


TikTok said Universal presented a "false narrative," claiming the label "put their own greed above the interests of their artists" by walking away.


Universal holds rights to music from the Beatles, Elton John, Coldplay and many more. It also owns recent TikTok hits like "Murder on the Dancefloor."  


This is the first time Universal has removed its full song catalog from a tech platform. In contrast, Warner Music struck a licensing deal with TikTok last July.


Beyond payments, Universal said it also wanted to protect artists from harmful AI effects and ensure safety for TikTok users.


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