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Source: VALERIE MACON / Getty / UMG / Universal Music Group / TikTok

Your music selection for your TikTok posts took a serious hit.

Spotted on The Verge, artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, JAY-Z, BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, and more all had their music pulled off TikTok after the platform and UMG (Universal Music Group) failed to extend the expired licensing agreement when negotiations between the two entities broke down.

Per The Verge:

On Tuesday, UMG accused the video platform of attempting to bully it into accepting a “bad deal” that didn’t soothe the record labels’ concerns regarding adequate compensation for artists and songwriters, protections against AI-generated music, and online safety on the platform to protect artists from “hate speech, bigotry, bullying and harassment.” TikTok responded saying that it was “disappointing” that UMG had “chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users,” and accused the label of putting its “own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.”

Rolling Stone reports takedowns on the platform began “gradually” on Wednesday night when “UMG-owned recordings such as Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer,” Olivia Rodrigo’s “Get Him Back,” and Lana Del Rey’s “Let the Light In” were no longer appearing in search results.”

Videos from popular TikTok accounts like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson featuring songs from UMG artists were also pulled off the platform.

In an open letter shared by Rolling Stone, UMG wrote:

TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay. Today, as an indication of how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue and increasing reliance on music-based content, TikTok accounts for only about 1% of our total revenue.

Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music,” UMG claimed. It accused TikTok of trying to “bully” it into accepting a “bad deal” by “selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars.” Universal further alleged that TikTok was allowing its platform to be “flooded” with AI-generated recordings. The company described TikTok’s response to AI as “nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by AI.

TikTok Responded

The popular Chinese-owned platform had something to say in response to UMG’s open letter in a statement shared online writing:

It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters.

Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.

TikTok has been able to reach ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal’s self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.

It sounds like UMG and TikTok are far apart, but we believe cooler heads will prevail, and you will be adding Taylor Swift songs to your cooking videos in the future.

There is just too much money possibly being left on the table here.