In addition to Adele, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and more.
Swifties everywhere are panicking because Taylor Swift's music is no longer available on the Tiktok app (which means no more videos of her kissing Travis Kelce on the field set to her song "Endgame.") After legal negotiations between Universal Music Group and the popular social media platform fell through, UMG has stopped licensing their artists' music to TikTok.
UMG — who reps a number of artists in addition to Swift, including Adele, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Drake, and more — penned an open letter to the music industry explaining their decision to end their partnership with the app. The company cited three non-negotiable points that TikTok would not accommodate: "Appropriate compensation for our artists and songwriters," "Protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI," and "Online safety for TikTok's users."
UMG went on to say that the compensation offered to their artists by TikTok was only "a fraction of the rate" that other major platforms pay. However, when they attempted to negotiate with the video app, TikTok tried to intimidate them.
"We recognize the challenges that TikTok’s actions will cause, and do not underestimate what this will mean to our artists and their fans who, unfortunately, will be among those subjected to the near-term consequences of TikTok’s unwillingness to strike anything close to a market-rate deal and meaningfully address its obligations as a social platform," the letter continued. "But we have an overriding responsibility to our artists to fight for a new agreement under which they are appropriately compensated for their work, on a platform that respects human creativity, in an environment that is safe for all, and effectively moderated."
TikTok responded to UMG's letter earlier this week, calling their claims "disappointing" and "false."
"It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters," the statement read. "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 promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent. TikTok has been able to reach 'artist-first' agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal's self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters, and fans."
On Thursday, TikTok officially confirmed that the music from UMG artists had been pulled from the app, according to The New York Times. UMG also represents Elton John, Olivia Rodrigo, Post Malone, SZA, The Weeknd, Rosalía, Bad Bunny, and more, which means their music has also been removed at this time.
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