Taylor Swift, Drake, Other Artists Could Be Removed From TikTok Over Compensation

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Universal Music Group, which is in charge of songs made by recording artists such as Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Drake, Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish, and many other major music industry stars, announced that its music would be removed from TikTok unless they can come to an agreement over money.

UMG said in an open letter posted Wednesday that it is looking out for its artists and demands higher compensation for music used on the platform. Per NBC News, about 60% of TikTok videos include music.

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

The Dutch American-owned company said, “Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.” 

The letter also mentioned artificial intelligence (AI) tools employed by TikTok, which it said could have negative outcomes in addition to ushering in “a tidal wave of hate speech, bigotry, bullying and harassment.”

“As our negotiations continued, TikTok attempted to bully us into accepting a deal worth less than the previous deal, far less than fair market value and not reflective of their exponential growth,” the letter said.

UMG also accused TikTok of “selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists” while keeping “audience-driving global stars” as a form of intimidation.


“TikTok’s tactics are obvious: use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans,” the letter said. “We will never do that. We will always fight for our artists and songwriters and stand up for the creative and commercial value of music.”

TikTok responded to the letter, saying it was “sad and disappointing” that UMG chose to “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 promotion and discovery vehicle for their talent.”

The response noted that TikTok was able to reach an agreement with other labels and publishers, then accused UMG of having “self-serving interests.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Taylor Swift, Drake, Other Artists Could Be Removed From TikTok Over Compensation