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Taylor Swift’s music returns to TikTok

Written by on April 12, 2024

Taylor Swift’s music has returned to TikTok.

The ‘Shake it Off’ singer’s tracks had been pulled from the social media platform by her label Universal Music Group (UMG) in January, citing unfair compensation for artists and the damaging usage of A.I.

However, Variety reports that Taylor’s catalogue has returned to the video-sharing platform, seemingly thanks to the 34-year-old Grammy winner regaining ownership of her master recordings.

UMG artists including Drake, Billie Eilish, Adele, Coldplay, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Bad Bunny’s music is still nowhere to be seen.

The label’s licensing agreement with TikTok expired on 31 January, and talks to renew the contract had fallen through, due to the site’s proposed deal.

Taking to their website, the company wrote: “With respect to the issue of artist and songwriter compensation, TikTok proposed paying our artists and songwriters at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay.

“Today, as an indication of how little TikTok compensates artists and songwriters, despite its massive and growing user base, rapidly rising advertising revenue and increasing reliance on music-based content, TikTok accounts for only about one per cent of our total revenue.

“Ultimately TikTok is trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.

“On A.I., TikTok is allowing the platform to be flooded with A.I.-generated recordings—as well as developing tools to enable, promote and encourage A.I. music creation on the platform itself – and then demanding a contractual right which would allow this content to massively dilute the royalty pool for human artists, in a move that is nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by A.I.”

UMG then alleged the platform had tried to “bully” the company into a deal worth less than their previous one.

They continued: “As our negotiations continued, TikTok attempted to bully us into accepting a deal worth less than the previous deal, far less than fair market value and not reflective of their exponential growth.

“How did it try to intimidate us? By selectively removing the music of certain of our developing artists, while keeping on the platform our audience-driving global stars.

“TikTok’s tactics are obvious: use its platform power to hurt vulnerable artists and try to intimidate us into conceding to a bad deal that undervalues music and shortchanges artists and songwriters as well as their fans. We will never do that.”


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