Universal Music Tracks Including Taylor Swift’s Vanish from TikTok

Universal Music Group (UMG) has begun removing the music catalogs of its artists such as Taylor Swift, Drake, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and more. Fans will no longer find their tracks listed on their profiles. This move will also result in all UMG tracks being muted in existing and future TikTok videos, pushing content creators to find alternative music choices from different labels. Given the abundance of lip-sync videos on the platform, this could be a significant challenge for many.

This is a bold step by Universal, especially as TikTok serves as a key promotional platform for its artists. However, UMG, being the world’s biggest music label representing a plethora of popular artists, possesses substantial negotiating power. Still, the decision undeniably impacts both the platform’s users and content creators.

UMG has indicated that it took this step after disagreements over payment rates with TikTok. Asserting that TikTok wanted to pay less than other social platforms, UMG stated, “TikTok tried to strong-arm us into accepting an agreement worth lower than the preceding agreement and doesn’t reflect their significant growth.”

In response, TikTok countered UMG’s claim, emphasizing its importance as a free promotional tool for artists and labels, used by over a billion users. The platform accused Universal of choosing to disregard this significant support base.