Universal Music starts pulling songs from TikTok over licensing negotiations.
Universal Music Group (UMG), the influential force behind beloved artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Rema, Ayra Starr, Tiwa Savage, and more, has severed ties with TikTok.
In a recent clash between the global music giant and the popular social media platform, TikTok now experiences an abrupt silence as UMG’s music began disappearing from the app on Thursday morning.
The confrontation unfolded just a day before the expiration of UMG’s licensing contract with TikTok. UMG publicly expressed their dissatisfaction through a fiery open letter, accusing TikTok of not offering fair compensation for their music and allowing AI-generated tunes to flood the platform, consequently diminishing the earnings of authentic, hardworking musicians.
TikTok responded assertively, accusing UMG of prioritizing their own greed over the interests of their artists and songwriters. They highlighted that UMG chose to withdraw from a platform with well over a billion users, a platform crucial in promoting and discovering talent for free.
The aftermath was swift and harsh. UMG artist recordings disappeared from TikTok’s music library, and videos featuring UMG tracks had their audio silenced. Users found themselves frustrated, unable to incorporate Universal songs into their new videos.
For example, a video posted by a Nigerian influencer featuring a hit track from Burna Boy, a UMG artist, was suddenly silent, with a message that read, “This sound isn’t available.” Similar messages popped up on countless other videos, all citing “sound removed due to copyright restrictions.”
The impact of the showdown between Universal Music Group (UMG) and TikTok is evident even on the official profiles of UMG artists like Burna Boy, Rema, Wizkid, and others, where music options have been reduced to a mere handful of brief snippets, leaving fans disappointed and confused.
Currently, it remains unclear how many videos have been affected by this music withdrawal, but the Nigerian TikTok community is undeniably feeling the repercussions. While some videos with UMG music remain unaffected, the tension between UMG and TikTok persists.
Representatives from both UMG and TikTok have refrained from disclosing details about their negotiations or the reasons behind the music withdrawal. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: UMG’s bold move has sent shockwaves through the music industry. TikTok, with its massive user base, has become an indispensable platform for music promotion in Nigeria, aiding both emerging and established artists.
The ongoing battle between UMG and TikTok continues, and music enthusiasts in Nigeria will be closely monitoring how this drama unfolds in the coming days.