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TikTok to remove more songs over Universal Music row due to split copyrights: “Up to 80%”


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The social media landscape is shaking up with the escalating dispute between TikTok and Universal Music Group (UMG)

 

The heart of the issue lies in a disagreement over royalties. UMG’s music was licensed to TikTok until earlier this year, but the license lapsed after the two parties failed to reach an agreement on the compensation for artists. As a result, UMG’s recording catalogue, which comprises around three million songs, was removed at the start of February.

 

The situation has now escalated, with TikTok starting to mute songs by artists who have written with Universal-signed artists. This means that videos featuring songs by popular artists such as Harry Styles and Adele could soon be muted. The impact is significant, with TikTok estimating that up to 30% of what it calls “popular songs” could be lost. However, some industry estimates suggest that up to 80% of all music on TikTok could be muted.

 

The fallout from this dispute extends beyond just the artists signed to UMG. Due to “split copyrights”, if a songwriter signed to Universal Music’s publishing arm has contributed even a tiny part to a song, that entire recording will, in theory, have to come down. This would include songs by artists on other labels, including the two remaining majors, Sony and Warner, and hundreds of independents.

 

Music is a significant part of TikTok’s appeal, with content creators often adding songs to their videos. The platform has also become a tool for artists to gain popularity and get their songs heard. The potential loss of such a vast amount of music could significantly impact the user experience and the platform’s ability to help artists reach new audiences.

 

As the digital world watches this unfolding drama, one can’t help but wonder about the future of music on social media platforms. What do you think about this situation? How will this impact the way we consume music on social media? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

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Top image: Daniel Constante | Dreamstime.com

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