By the end of the month, you will see many of your favorite songs vanish from TikTok. The cause? Industry giant, Universal Music Group, is removing their tunes from the platform. This article breaks down the why — and the consequences — of this unprecedented move.
What Music Disappears When Universal Music Group Does?
As of January 31, the agreement between TikTok and Universal Music Group expired.
However, they could not come to new terms despite months of back and forth. The record conglomerate announced its stance to “time out TikTok” in an open letter on their website.
This is unfortunate news for users of the app and music fans alike. UMG is the largest record company in the world. So, top musicians will no longer have their audio featured on the popular platform.
HOW BIG OF ARTISTS ARE WE TALKING?
We’ll name a few represented by Universal Music Group you might have heard of…
- Taylor Swift
- Bad Bunny
- Lady Gaga
This is poor timing for TikTok to be dealt this kind of blow. Between the pushback on its shopping feature and more Senate hearings, the video-sharing app is feeling the heat.
That being said, TT and UMG are massive companies. Is this move going to make a significant dent in either of their bottom lines?
Who Universal Music Group’s Departure REALLY Hurts…
In Universal’s open letter statement, they make the additional claim that…
“ULTIMATELY TIKTOK IS TRYING TO BUILD A MUSIC-BASED BUSINESS, WITHOUT PAYING FAIR VALUE FOR THE MUSIC.”
Yet, the money it earns from its material being on the app only comprises 1% of its revenue. Which was an interesting statistic reported by PBS News Hour.
As a result, Universal Music Group’s decision mostly affects smaller artists at the end of the day.
Similar to the success of small business TikTok, lesser-known musicians use the platform for promotion.
In fact, a song going viral can significantly impact the trajectory of an artist’s career — even decades later.
While it is “the little guys” that suffer most in this stalemate, music industry experts speculate this won’t last forever…
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
In a Billboard article on the TikTok and Universal Music Group “break-up,” music analyst, Robert Levine, predicts…
“The more likely scenario is that UMG and TikTok will reach an agreement — perhaps one that both will grumble about but accept — and then over time find ways to work together that benefit both sides, plus creators of all kinds.”
All in all, this is another case of business and technology struggling to see eye-to-eye with one another. But until the two companies decide to reconcile — or not — social media will keep moving forward…
We may just have to find different songs to do cheesy dances to.
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