Universal Music to not renew licensing agreement with TikTok

UNIVERSAL Music Group (UMG) will cease licensing content to TikTok and TikTok Music services, as the music label said on Tuesday that its agreement with the social media platform expiring on Jan. 31 has not been renewed.

UMG has been pressing TikTok for appropriate artist and songwriter compensations in their contract renewal discussions, among other things, it said in a letter addressed to its artist and songwriter community.

If UMG fails to reach an agreement with TikTok, all its songs will be removed from the service once the deal expires on Wednesday, a UMG spokesperson said.

In its letter, UMG accused TikTok of “trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”

UMG said TikTok proposed paying artists and songwriters at a rate that is a “fraction of the rate” that similarly situated major social platforms pay.

TikTok accounts for only about 1% of UMG’s total revenue, the music label said.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The company had reached a deal with social media platform TikTok in February 2021, which allowed users on the app to be able to incorporate clips from UMG’s music catalog on their videos.

Among the artists on UMG’s roster are Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, BTS, BlackPink, Elton John, Billie Eilish, and Boys Republic. — Reuters