The Future. Universal Music Group made good on its promise to pull its music from TikTok after a new licensing contract fell apart. The sudden song pullback has sewn chaos across the platform, with user videos suddenly stamped with copyright infringement. UMG’s decision may not just set a precedent for other labels but also change how the music industry shares revenue with TikTok and their in-the-works music app.
TikTok users aren’t happy about the disappearance of artists like Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, The Weeknd, and Fleetwood Mac from their videos.
- Videos featuring music from UMG artists have gone silent, accompanied by either a note reading “sound removed due to copyright restrictions,” or “this sound isn’t available.”
- UMG’s one million pre-cleared songs have also started to disappear from TikTok’s own library.
- Additionally, artist profiles have lost the tab where users could sync videos with their tracks.
While most users have been left in the dark, TikTok Shop sellers did receive a step-by-step guide to change their videos’ sound (the company is not going to put that revenue in jeopardy), and users who used a track from that pre-cleared list received a prompt to change them.
UMG is also responsible for distributing music outside of the label and representing songwriters signed to other companies, so the fallout hasn’t hit rock bottom yet.