Taylor Swift's Music Will No Longer Be Available On TikTok - Here's Why

31 January 2024, 11:58 | Updated: 31 January 2024, 16:46

Taylor Swift is among the hundreds of artists having their music removed from TikTok
Taylor Swift is among the hundreds of artists having their music removed from TikTok. Picture: Getty
Capital FM

By Capital FM

Taylor Swift’s music, along with a number of other artists, will soon be pulled from TikTok.

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The world of TikTok as we know it could soon change forever as Universal Music pull millions of songs from the platform including music by Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Drake, The Weeknd and thousands more artists.

From 31st January the record label will stop licensing its content to TikTok after issuing an open letter to the ‘artist and songwriter community’ explaining why they’re ‘calling time’ on the app.

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

Taylor Swift is among the artists whose music will be removed from TikTok
Taylor Swift is among the artists whose music will be removed from TikTok. Picture: Getty

Why is Taylor Swift's music being removed from TikTok?

It’s not just Taylor Swift’s music which will be pulled from TikTok, as Universal hold the rights to a huge portfolio of artists including Elton John, Coldplay, Adele, BTS, Blackpink, Bad Bunny, Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish and thousands more.

The music giant is pulling its artists' music from TikTok after being unable to reach an agreement with the platform over payments.

Music companies earn royalty when their songs are steamed or played on social media and Universal explained in their open letter that currently TikTok accounts for only 1% of their total revenue, despite how much the app replies on music-focused content.

They 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.”

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Universal also shared concerns around the increasing effects of AI and online safety as TikTok allows AI-generated recordings to continue to be posted to the platform, something they described as ’nothing short of sponsoring artist replacement by AI.’

The label also claimed the video creation platform makes ‘little effort to deal with’ hate speech, bigotry and bullying, comparing their removal methods of problematic content (like deepfakes) to ‘the digital equivalent of whack-a-mole’.

Universal Music is removing their songs from TikTok
Universal Music is removing their songs from TikTok. Picture: Getty

They claim they were offered a deal ‘worth less than the previous deal’ and claim that the music of their developing artists was ‘selectively removed’ as negotiations went on.

They finished their letter with: “We have an overriding responsibility to our artists to fight for a new agreement under which they are appropriately compensated for their work, on a platform that respects human creativity, in an environment that is safe for all, and effectively moderated.”

It’s the first time Universal has taken such a major step in removing its music from a tech platform.

In response to their open letter, TikTok have issued the below statement.

It is sad and disappointing that Universal Music Group has put their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters. 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. TikTok has been able to reach 'artist-first' agreements with every other label and publisher. Clearly, Universal's self-serving actions are not in the best interests of artists, songwriters and fans.

- TikTok spokesperson.

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