Universal Music Group, one of the largest music companies in the industry, said it has failed to reach new licensing terms with TikTok — and that as such, it will no longer license content to the app.
UMG said that its agreement with TikTok is set to expire on Jan. 31. “The companies have not agreed to terms for a new agreement and upon expiration of the current agreement, Universal Music Group, including Universal Music Publishing Group, will cease licensing content to TikTok and TikTok Music services,” the company said in a statement.
Reps for TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment. TikTok is the massively popular short-form video app whose core features let users create and share videos using licensed music and other sounds.
Artists on Universal Music Group labels include Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Sting, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, SZA, Steve Lacy, Drake, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Adele, U2, Elton John, J Balvin, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan and Post Malone.
Three years ago, in February 2021, UMG touted a global agreement with TikTok that it said “delivers equitable compensation for recording artists and songwriters and significantly expands and enhances the companies’ existing relationship, promoting the development of new innovative experiences.”
On Tuesday, UMG posted an open letter “to the artist and songwriter community,” with the headline, “Why We Must Call Time Out on TikTok.”