Universal Music Group vs TikTok and fair pay
Universal Music Group vs TikTok and fair pay

Why can’t I find music on TikTok?

TikTok’s scarcity of music stems from a dispute with Universal Music over fair compensation and AI-generated content. Universal Music highlights TikTok’s inadequate payment rates and lax copyright enforcement, signaling broader tensions between artistic integrity and corporate interests in the digital sphere.

Universal Music Groups represents artists like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Adele, Bad Bunny, Olivia Rodrigo, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Post Malone. Songs from these artists will no longer be available on TikTok.

The full story on why Universal Music Group is pulling music from TikTok

There are a lot of busy social media sites, but TikTok stands out as a place where people can be creative. From dance contests to lip-syncing shows, the site thrives on music that is popular right now. Still, users may wonder, “Why can’t I find music on TikTok?” as they scroll endlessly.

A recent open letter from Universal Music, one of the biggest names in the music business, shed light on this confusing question. Its lines get to the heart of a controversial issue: the fight for fair pay and artistic identity in the digital world.

It is clear what Universal Music’s goal is: to help its artists and songwriters hit their creative and business peaks. However, as TikTok’s popularity grows, so does the gap between its huge success and the money it brings in for the music business.

Universal Music is most worried about the terms of its deal with TikTok, which ran out on January 31, 2024. The letter emphasizes three important issues that came up during negotiations: fair pay, protecting against the harmful effects of AI-generated music, and making sure that TikTok’s huge user base is safe online.

TikTok is proud to say that “music is at the heart of the TikTok experience.” Universal Music, on the other hand, says that the platform’s pay rates for artists and songwriters are much lower than what the business expects. Even though TikTok has grown very quickly and relies heavily on music-based content, it only brings in 1% of Universal Music’s total income. This is a clear sign that music isn’t valued enough on the platform.

Why can’t I find music on TikTok? Low pay and AI-generated content

Also, Universal is very worried about TikTok’s careless attitude toward songs made by AI. By letting a lot of AI-made videos go viral, TikTok could lower the royalties for real artists, which would diminish their creative efforts in favor of computer-made ones.

TikTok’s weak efforts to stop copyright violations and improve online safety only add fuel to the fire. Universal Music didn’t like how TikTok responded to the widespread spread of illegal material and how it didn’t do enough to stop hate speech, bigotry, and harassment.

Universal Music is not going to give up in the face of these problems. Universal Music is still firmly committed to fair compensation and protecting musicians’ rights, even though TikTok tried to force them to agree to a bad deal.

One thing is very clear: the fight for fair pay and artistic identity is far from over, even though the digital world is always changing.

Universal Music Group actively collaborates with Twitch as well as Tomorrowland Music.

Read the open letter in its entirety.