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Bob Marley, Kendrick Lamar, Drake Songs On TikTok Facing Removal Over UMG Dispute

BY Abena Dzaka February 1, 2024 7:58 PM EDT
Photo Source: Instagram/@hovfans

According to UMG (Universal Music Group) music from numerous A-list musicians, including Drake, Eminem, Bob Marley, Kendrick Lamar, and others, may have their music removed from TikTok. 

This is because of Universal Music Group’s unsuccessful negotiations with the platform according to a statement by UMG posted as an open letter to its artistes and songwriters on Tuesday (January 30).

Thanks to its unparalleled user growth, TikTok has emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms of today, generating viral moments in music and pop culture.

Due to the fact that their music is now widely available on TikTok, several top musicians in the world have had tremendous success there. 

However, that might all change very soon because Universal Music Group has threatened to remove any song by any of its artistes from the social networking platform when their current contracts expire at midnight on January 31st.

A primary cause of the controversy, according to UMG, was TikTok’s “trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music.”

The platform offered to pay its songwriters and artistes “at a rate that is a fraction of the rate that similarly situated major social platforms pay.”

The record company disclosed that “TikTok accounts for about 1%” of their overall revenue, to put things into perspective.

In addition, UMG claimed that TikTok attempted to “bully” them into agreeing to a transaction that was “not reflective of their exponential growth, far less than fair market value, and worth less than the previous deal.”

They continued by saying that to force them to give in, the platform employed coercive measures including “selectively removing the music of certain of [their] developing artistes” while maintaining songs by well-known “audience-driving” artistes.

TikTok responded succinctly on Tuesday, stating that UMG “put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters” and that they were successful in “reaching ‘artist-first’ agreements with every other label and publisher.”

TikTok included a statement saying, “Despite Universal’s false narrative and rhetoric, the fact is they have chosen to walk away from the powerful support of a platform with well over a billion users that serves as a free promotional and discovery vehicle for their talent.”

Many musicians’ songs will no longer be accessible on TikTok as a result of the dispute, as Universal Music Group is one of the largest music conglomerates in the world and is in charge of numerous record labels, including Def Jam, Interscope, Republic, Island Records, and many more. Fans find it difficult to imagine the possibility because the lengthy list is so unbelievable.

In the hopes that one of the two sides will back down, fans are anxiously waiting for the outcome of this debate.