Universal Music Group UMG, one of the world’s largest music companies, announced its failure to renew its licensing agreement with TikTok, citing disagreements over artist compensation and the use of artificial intelligence AI.
The current deal is set to expire today, after which the corporation will cease licensing content to the social media platform and its services.
UMG’s roster includes prominent names like Drake, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, SZA, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Baby, Quavo, and City Girls, to mention a few.
The company highlighted TikTok’s proposal to pay musicians and songwriters at a rate significantly lower than that of competitors such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. They also raised concerns about AI-generated content flooding the social media networking website and potentially diluting the royalty pool for human artists.
TikTok, in response, accused UMG of prioritizing greed and walking away from the support of a platform with over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for talent.
They claimed to have reached “artist-first” agreements with other labels and publishers, asserting that the corporation’s actions are not in the best interests of musicians, songwriters, and fans. The outcome could potentially impact the availability of music from top artists on the app.